Restaurant Revitalization Moves Closer

The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was actually authorized by Congress back in the early part of last month. Despite the fact that the program was signed into by President Biden on March 11, it still is making very slow progress in coming to fruition. The agency succeeded in getting the RRF website launched…

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Other State COVID-Restrictions Loosen

The steady march of states loosening some of their COVID-related restrictions continued with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signing an order to ease restriction on businesses and gatherings. Now, restaurants and bars there can offer indoor dining at 75 percent of capacity with parties limited to six people and on-site dining required to close at 11…

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Biden Signs COVID Bill into Law

  Earlier this week, the House of Representatives approved the Senate changes to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and President Biden without any delays at all, signed it into law yesterday. Aside from the direct stimulus payments of $1400 to most Americans under certain income levels, the bill includes an additional $7.25 billion going…

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House Readies COVID Relief for Vote Today

Notwithstanding the ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian, the US House is expected to give final approval to Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as soon as today, with some questions still remaining as to what the final bill will ultimately include. As of this writing, the legislation, which cleared the House Budget…

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Minimum Wage Very Much in Play

Although even the President himself opined a few weeks ago that the minimum wage increase would likely be stripped out of the American Rescue Plan Act, the issue is still very much alive and could possibly be passed as part of the $1.9 trillion relief bill. Prevailing wisdom had the wage hike dead once Senator…

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Federal Minimum Wage Hike Out, For Now

It would appear that a more than doubling of the existing federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hour to $15/hour is out of the pending $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill pending in Congress, at least for the time being. In the initial deliberations on the budget resolution (the vehicle by which the Senate will approve…

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Ways & Means Advances New Unemployment Premium

Another important issue that’s being debated and will have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to rehire the help it will need is the unemployment insurance premium that democrats in Congress are pushing. It’s not back to the $600 mark just yet, but it’s certainly moving in that direction. This week, the US House Ways…

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State/Local Updates Around the Country

Staying out west for the moment, on January 25, the Seattle City Council voted – unanimously – to pass an ordinance mandating that certain grocery store employees receive hazard pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Seattle minimum wage is currently $16.69 per hour and the hazard pay mandate will add $4 for each…

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