A group that represents retailers in Massachusetts plans to urge lawmakers to reject a proposed increase in the state's minimum wage.

Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, will argue before a legislative committee today that many small employers in the state cannot afford to pay a higher minimum wage, which has been at $8 an hour since 2008.

But another group of small business owners plans to testify in favor of an increase in pay for the state's lowest-paid workers. They argue that it would boost sales by putting more money into consumers' pockets.

The Committee on Labor and Workforce Development is considering several bills that would raise the state's minimum wage and tie it to inflation in future years.

Workers and labor leaders also plan to back a hike in the minimum wage.

Massachusetts is one of 19 states currently above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.