Hourly wage workers around the country are cheering hikes in their pay this new year, with 21 states raising the wage in 2015 after moves by state legislatures and voter approval during midterm elections. Some of the pay increases in the new year also reflect annual cost of living increases by individual states.
Individual franchises of big corporations, and independent chain operators are among the first to feel the effects of wage hikes.
"It concerns me when voters enact these things—everyone wants to have more pay in wages, but don't like to pay more for the goods and services they use every day," said Don Davey of Firehouse Subs. He operates franchises in Florida and Wisconsin.
Davey's Florida businesses will be impacted by higher cost of living increases, effective New Year's Day. His 200 workers in 13 Florida locations will see the minimum wage rise to $8.05 an hour in 2015, compared with $7.93 in 2014. However, many of his workers start above the state's minimum wage.
"Over time, this will lead to 5, 10 or 15 percent increase in price for consumers," Davey said.
The International Franchise Association says franchises in the impacted 21 states will be affected in some way by wage hikes, and many of its group members believe the higher wages will have negative ramifications.
More than 85 percent of members believe "recent efforts by some cities and states to increase the minimum wage will negatively impact their business," said an association spokesperson, in an email to CNBC.