Shaheen praised for opposing Sanders’ proposed minimal wage hike
March 15 – Restaurant homeowners in New Hampshire praised U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen for voting towards together with a minimal wage hike as a part of the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 reduction program.
Tom Boucher, proprietor of the Nice NH Eating places chain, mentioned he was in favor of elevating the minimal wage however not doubling it within the midst of a pandemic.
“I do know you took quite a lot of arrows for the job you took on minimal wage. It was the appropriate factor to do,” Boucher instructed Shaheen in a web-based assembly with leaders from the hospitality trade throughout the state.
“It needs to be a stand-alone invoice,” Boucher mentioned. “I agree that we have to pay some consideration to the wages of youngsters. A 16- or 17-year-old should not be incomes the identical as a 30-year-old minimal wage employee. We’re persevering with that, 50 cents a yr, to succeed in a minimal wage of $ 15 an hour in six years. That is the best way to do it. “
Shaheen and Senator Maggie Hassan joined 5 different impartial Democrats and Angus King from Maine when the Senate rejected, 58-42, Vermont Unbiased Senator Bernie Sanders’ provide to tie this pay hike to the COVID bundle.
“We have to elevate the minimal wage,” Shaheen mentioned. “The query is, how do you try this, and do it in a method that does not harm firms that function on a really small margin.”
Shaheen mentioned that later this spring, the Small Enterprise Administration will open restaurant purposes to request a portion of the $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
This system gives grants of as much as $ 5 million for particular person eating places and as much as $ 10 million for teams of eating places.
Solely restaurant chains with fewer than 20 areas could be eligible for these grants, and publicly traded firms of any dimension wouldn’t be capable to apply, based on a snapshot of this fund.
“It will not cowl everybody’s wants, however it should present vital further assist,” Shaheen mentioned.
Mike Somers, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Affiliation, mentioned the reduction program additionally retains an worker retention tax credit score in place for the rest of 2021 and extends go away paid till September.
“I feel we’re turning the nook and that may assist us get there,” Somers mentioned.
Amy Landers, government director of the Lakes Area Tourism Affiliation, mentioned the problem this summer time shall be discovering sufficient employees to fill the service jobs, particularly since a regular supply of provide – worldwide workers – isn’t prone to enter the nation resulting from COVID-19.
“I am afraid we are going to lose a number of firms as a result of we won’t have workers,” Landers mentioned.
Shaheen mentioned she had urged the Biden administration to carry the Trump-era cap on the H1 visa program that restricted this foreign-born workforce.
“There could also be a change in coverage,” Shaheen added.