The new year is bringing new expenses for Maine businesses as the state's minimum wage increases from $9 to $10 per hour.
"The biggest strategy to use is leveraging the tax breaks," says Walton. "So if you have tax incentives, that can offset absorbing that additional dollar per hour cost."
Walton is among those who think 2018's minimum wage increase will have a generally positive effect for the state of Maine.
"Increasing the minimum wage allows more people to have a sustainable living," he says.
In addition to helping more Mainers live above the poverty line, with new tax breaks coming in 2018 as a result of the recently passed GOP tax plan, Walton believes businesses will be able to avoid transferring costs to consumers and firing or stop hiring employees.
Instead, he thinks it will allow businesses to absorb the costs associated with a minimum wage hike, which will have a positive effect in multiple areas.
"As the wage increases come, people higher up on the totem pole will also be able to increase their wages," says Walton. "But it's a net effect of basically spurring the economy, spurring businesses, and incentivizing employers to do more for their employees."
Maine is one of three New England states raising wages this January.
This, after Mainers voted to enact the law following the 2016 election.
Walton says it's ultimately the gradual decline that makes the minimum wage hike more beneficial to Maine business.
"Consider the long-term benefit," he says. "There's good will of increasing the wage for your employees, it's better retention."
"It's much more expensive to hire and train new employees than to keep good ones," he adds.
The minimum wage will continue to increase year to year until 2020, where it will then be indexed to inflation.