Starbucks recently reached a $176,000 three-year settlement agreement with New York City for violating NYC employment laws by requiring employees to find their own substitutes when they took sick leave. Announcing the settlement, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and other city officials said the chain must also prominently post education posters explaining the city sick leave law for its 8000 employee and detail its compliance to city regulators within six months. A new report released recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms what many businessmen and women suspected all along – that increasing the minimum wage requirement for small businesses increases the possibility of closure and creates a higher rate of loan defaults. The study, which measured the impact of increased minimum wages on approximately 15 million establishments over a 25 year period (1989-2019), concluded that increasing the minimum wage worsened the financial health of small businesses. And finally, Forbes Magazine recently released a report ranking US states based on business friendliness as determined by labor supply, regulatory rules and economic climate among other categories. North Carolina, Texas and Utah finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, while New Mexico, West Virginia and Alaska came in 48th, 49th and dead last.