Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers

If as the old sayings go, Orange is the new Black, and 50 is the new 40, then hazard pay for ‘frontline workers’ is the new paid sick leave. Currently the benefit – between $4 and $5 more an hour – is mostly limited to grocery workers, but some have already talked about the need…

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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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Paying for the Pandemic in Cities

City governments are constantly lamenting the loss of tax and other revenues and are now mapping plans to restore their revenue streams whether there’s more federal money or not. Too often, that means increased taxes for the business community.  As a case in point, amid widespread opposition, the DC Council preliminarily approved a FY21 budget…

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Bookend Cities Flex Their Muscle

Notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges that small businesses across the country have faced and will continue to confront as we (hopefully) come out of the coronavirus crisis over the next few months, municipal officials from the east coast to the west continue to dictate to businesses how they should be run, who they should employ and…

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Washington State Court Tosses Union Initiative Law

Bear with me on this one . . .  On Christmas Eve, the Appeals Court in the state of Washington invalidated a voter-approved law known as the Hotel Employee Health and Safety Initiative. On its face, Initiative 124 dealt only with hotel employees, however the depth and breadth of its provisions could have stretched far…

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Seattle Soda Tax Collections Beat Estimates

As we know, the city of Seattle passed its new 1.75 cents per ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks in June 2017 and made it effective January 2018. Almost one year since to the day, the city is boasting soda tax receipts of over $16.9 million – almost $2 million in revenue beyond…

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Stopping More Soda Taxes

Out in the “other Washington” (that would be the state), voters in November will be asked to prohibit local communities from imposing additional taxes on groceries including soda or other sugary beverages. If passed, Initiative 1634 would not affect Seattle’s tax on soda, syrups and sugary beverages of 1.75 cents per ounce, but it will…

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Who has More Loyal Fans?

When it comes to customer loyalty, Dunkin’ may just have an edge on its closest rival Cultivating satisfied, loyal customers has always been an important factor to the success of any business, but since social media has enabled rapid-fire opinion sharing, happy customers are more important today than ever. According to a 2016 Forrester Research…

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“Put Down the Straw! You’re Under Arrest!”

The latest environmental fad – banning or at least severely restricting the use of plastic (bags, food containers, cups, straws, etc.) – continues to ripple across the country and you may think I’m kidding, but the city of Santa Barbara has taken it to a whole new level. Last week, the Santa Barbara City Council…

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Seattle Repeals “Head Tax”

The city of Seattle responded to the stoppage of business expansion by corporate giant Amazon.com by voting to repeal the $275 per employee “head tax” the municipality had just adopted only a few weeks ago (on May 14). Amazon had stopped construction of a new building just 2 weeks before the council voted the tax…

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