Nobody can get by on $8.31 per hour. Franklin Roosevelt enacted the minimum wage in 1938 to keep working families out of poverty. Clearly another boost is needed to achieve that goal today.
Businesses are often vocal opponents of any increases. They argue jobs will be lost and companies will be forced to shut down. In reality, research shows that there is little or no negative effect on jobs or small business success. (John Schmitt - "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?" February, 2013). In fact, many companies see positive impacts from raising wages. My company is such an example.
In 2011 we raised our starting pay 50%. We also raised the pay for everybody earning between $8.00 and $12.00. We were concerned about our profit margin, but the anticipated hit to the bottom line never happened. Our employees were more productive and turnover decreased dramatically. People were able to get their cars fixed. They had better child care options. They valued the job more. Our per-unit labor cost actually went down. Of course, some companies will have to raise prices or take a smaller profit to offset these costs.
The majority of people helped by this initiative are adults working full time. Many of them have children. Do we really want to make a little more profit or pay a little less for a hamburger on the backs of the hard-working men and women of Colorado?