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Who's Paying?

Should you choose to pay your employees a "living wage" today? Tomorrow, the decision may not be yours to make.

This story appears in the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Business is good for Jim Amaral. His bakery, Borealis Breads, has grown beyond its original Wells, Maine, store to include three other locations, annual sales are averaging $3 million, and the company's baked goods have been featured on CNN.

But more is rising at Borealis than bread. Three years ago, Amaral, 44, decided to start paying his 60 employees a "living wage" that averages almost $3 more than the federal minimum, plus benefits. "I just kept bumping people up until they were at $8 an hour," he says.

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