BFMW In the News

Wall Street Journal: As $600-a-Week Jobless Aid Nears End, Congress Faces a Quandary

By Eric Morath and Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2020

Some 25 million Americans are set to lose $600 a week each in federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month, one of the thorniest issues Congress faces when it returns to Washington this week to consider another coronavirus relief bill.

Many people view the payments as a lifeline, and analysts say the $15 billion a week in federal spending has provided vital support to an economy staggering from the effects of the pandemic. ...

CNBC: With pandemic and presidential race, $15 minimum wage could get another push

 

By Melissa Repko
CNBC, July 15, 2020

... July 24 marks 11 years — the longest stretch without an increase since the federal wage was enacted in 1938 [during the Great Depression]. ... Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of the nonpartisan group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said it could be used to stimulate the economy again by putting more money into Americans’ pockets.

“It’s just that kind of shared recovery tool that we need now,” she said. ...

WLNS: Minimum wage hike in 3 states boosts income for battered workers

WLNS, Lansing, MI, July 5, 2020
This article is adapted from CBS News.

Low-paid workers in the U.S. have particularly felt the economic sting from the coronavirus pandemic since they tend to work in “front-line” jobs, such as in restaurants and stores. But some employees are getting a financial lift as three states and 18 cities and counties around the country move to raise their minimum wages.

The Center Square: Illinois’ increased minimum wage during pandemic will impact local governments, nonprofits

By Greg Bishop
The Center Square, July 2, 2020

Illinois’ minimum wage, which increased to $10 an hour this week, isn’t just affecting business owners...

A group called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage said when the minimum wage is increased in places like Illinois, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, D.C., it means more money in the pockets of workers and more consumer spending at local businesses. ...

CBS MoneyWatch: Minimum wage hike in 3 states boosts income for battered workers

By Aimee Picchi
CBS MoneyWatch, July 1, 2020

Low-paid workers in the U.S. have particularly felt the economic sting from the coronavirus pandemic since they tend to work in "front-line" jobs, such as in restaurants and stores. But some employees are getting a financial lift as three states and 18 cities and counties around the country move to raise their minimum wages. ...

The boost could help families that are struggling with the impact of the pandemic-related recession and boost local economies, according to Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. ...

The Hill: Minimum wage increases go into effect in three states, major cities

By Niv Elis
The Hill, July 1, 2020

Higher minimum wages will go into effect for workers in Illinois, Nevada and Oregon, as well as a handful of major cities, starting July 1. ...

“The July 1 raises are welcome increases for the economy, because more money in the pockets of workers means more consumer spending at local businesses," said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. ...

The last federal minimum wage increase took place 11 years ago.

Yahoo Finance: These 3 states – and Washington, D.C. – are raising their minimum wage

By Ben Werschkul
Yahoo Finance, June 30, 2020

Twenty-one states had minimum wage increases or cost of living adjustments at the beginning of 2020. And now, halfway into 2020, more are set to continue pushing the nation’s average minimum wage upwards even as the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25. ...

"We are just working our way up to what's truly a fair wage in our country," says Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president and CEO ECOS, who also works with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a group that advocates for higher rates.

USA Today: Minimum wage hikes in three states, 21 localities to aid low-paid workers slammed by Covid-19

By Paul Davidson
USA Today, June 30, 2020. Also in Detroit Free Press, Daily News Journal (TN), Times Herald (MI), Ventura County Star (CA), more

While millions of Americans are losing financial assistance that has kept them afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, several states and 21 localities are partly offsetting the pain with a different kind of lifeline: minimum wage hikes.

On Wednesday, Illinois, Nevada and Oregon are set to raise their pay floors as part of large increases that are being phased in over several years . ...

Washington Examiner: Reopening, but in danger: Restaurants fear for survival under social distancing

By Jay Heflin
Washington Examiner, June 3, 2020

Restaurants across the United States are slowly and gradually reopening but face an existential risk: Many restaurants cannot survive below full capacity, meaning that the jobs of the roughly 6 million servers and bartenders laid off in the pandemic are still at stake. ...

Furthermore, patrons are not the only ones concerned about dining out. Some servers are also worried about returning to work.

“It’s too soon,” said Ned Atwater, owner of six restaurants in Maryland.

The Guardian: Extra $600 in jobless pay offers many a lifeline – but will it be renewed?

By Amanda Holpuch
The Guardian, May 25, 2020

... The March coronavirus stimulus package provided an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for four months for the now 39 million people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic ... Last year, the weekly payment for unemployment was on average nearly $378, according to the US labor department. Come August, the workers who aren’t making more on unemployment will suddenly face an even bigger drop in pay.

CBS 6 News: Virginia business owners weigh the realities of reopening during COVID-19

By Jake Burns
CBS 6 News, WTVR-TV, Richmond, May 5, 2020

Virginia businesses are weighing two difficult options, one day after Governor Ralph Northam extended his closure order to May 15th: open their doors with restrictions to start making money again, or remain closed to protect the health of their employees and customers.

Alex Zavaleta and his co-owner at Charm School Social Club, an ice cream shop in downtown Richmond, have been hand scooping to-go pints for weeks after having to lay off their staff in mid-March when the virus began spreading in Virginia.

Boston Globe: John Schall: Restaurant industry’s survival of coronavirus depends on regulating delivery app fees

Op-Ed by John Schall
Boston Globe, April 28, 2020

COVID-19 and the resulting public health ban on dining out have plunged American restaurants into a crisis that many won’t survive. Those that remain open have become dependent on third-party delivery services. But the dominance of a few delivery companies creates its own dire financial threat to the survival of the very restaurants they serve. ...