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While most of the Democratic presidential candidates can agree that the minimum wage should be raised, there are several different proposals and ideas surrounded areas such as unions and corporate America. Here is where some of the front runners stand.

Joe Biden 

Former Vice President Biden supported Massachusetts Stop & Shop workers who were striking over low wages and poor benefits in June. He addressed the workers and the union at a rally, saying they were part of an initiative to “take back this country.

“This is wrong. This is morally wrong, what’s going on around this country,” Biden said. “And I have had enough of it. I’m sick of it, and so are you.”

Biden also gave his first campaign speech to an audience of union workers in April and said it’s “well past time that the minimum wage nationally be a minimum of $15.” According to his website, 

Bernie Sanders

Sanders has an extensive record of fighting against corporate America and recently added Walmart to his list of targets, claiming the company is paying its hourly workers “starvation wages.” He introduced a proposal at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting that called for the company to pay its employees at least $15 an hour (which is what he believes the US minimum wage should be) and allow hourly workers to be on the corporate board.

“Frankly, the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing some of the greed of some of the largest corporations in this country,” he said. 

Sanders adds on his website that the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is not enough to “pay the bills and support a family,” and that raising the wage would reduce the amount of citizens relying on the government. 

“According to the Economic PolicyInstitute, raising the minimum wage by just a few dollars would cause 1.7 million Americans to no longer rely on public assistance and ‘reduce government expenditures on current income-support programs by $7.6 billion per year,’” his website reads. 

Elizabeth Warren

Warren also believes the minimum wage should be $15 an hour and co-sponsored legislation that would require it to be increased by 2024. She said that although the current minimum wage was enough to feed a family of three when she was growing up, that is no longer the case

“Back when I was a kid, folks in far-off Washington asked the fundamental question: ‘What’s it going to take for a family of three to make it? That’s where we ought to put the minimum.’ Today, the folks in Washington ask, ‘What’s going to improve the profitability of a multinational corporation?’ And that’s what we’re here to change,’” she said during a campaign speech

Kamala Harris

Harris joined her Senate Democrat colleagues who supported a minimum wage of $15 an hour in 2017, according to a press release on her website. 

“The minimum wage must be a living wage, and the current rate of $7.25 makes it impossible to support a family,” she said. “Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. That means we’ve got to change a system that forces a mom trying to keep a roof over the head and food on the table to hold down two jobs just to earn $15,000 a year. The ladder of economic opportunity is broken in this country, but this legislation will help fix it.”

Harris also teamed up with the National Domestic Workers Alliance to introduce the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which would give domestic workers (primarily made up of women of color and immigrants) basic labor rights such as protection against harassment and discrimination, guaranteed minimum wage, meal breaks and overtime pay. 

Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke supports  the move to a US minimum wage to $15 an hour and believes that one job should be enough for workers to support themselves and their families. He also believes in collective bargaining and thinks unions should be able to collect dues from non-union members.

“Everyone needs to pay into the benefits that they gain as a result of those who are willing to organize and fight,” O’Rourke said at a Union Steel Workers 310 event in El Paso. 

Cory Booker

Booker, who also supports a federal minimum wage of $15, is focused on making sure everyone has a job with the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act. The bill would create a three-year pilot program in which 15 local areas would be offered funding to ensure every adult in the area is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour. 

“The federal jobs guarantee is an idea that demands to be taken seriously,” Booker said. “Creating an employment guarantee would give all Americans a shot at a day’s work and, by introducing competition into the labor market, raise wages and improve benefits for all workers.”

Pete Buttigieg

As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for city employees in 2016. He believes the current federal minimum wage does not reflect the high cost of living. 

“Wages have not kept up with the costs of healthcare, housing and education,” he said in a tweet. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 and rebuild union membership for an economy where all workers can thrive.” 

Buttigieg advocates for the reformation of the National Labor Relations Act (also known as the Wagner Act), which guarantees employees’ right to unionize. 

“I will support a new Wagner Act to empower workers in existing unions, and others who have been historically excluded from collective bargaining, to advocate for better wages, hours, and working conditions,” he said. “I will also support strong measures to ensure that union elections can happen freely and fairly, because democracy should not stop at the workplace door.”

Andrew Yang

According to a tweet from Yang, he believes the government should “leave minimum wage to states” and implement a universal basic income, which he calls the Freedom Dividend

“In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it,” his website reads. “To avoid an unprecedented crisis, we’re going to have to find a new solution, unlike anything we’ve done before. It all begins with the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income for all American adults, no strings attached – a foundation on which a stable, prosperous, and just society can be built.”

His website describes the Freedom Dividend as a “type of social security that guarantees a certain amount of money to every citizen,” and he is proposing a set of guaranteed payments of $1,000 per month. 

Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota Senator Klobuchar is a member of the Commerce and Joint Economic Committee and believes in “training the next generation of workers to compete in a global economy,” according to her website

Klobuchar also believes in “giving people a fair shot” by “making it easier for American families to be able to afford a home, send their kids to college and pay the bills.” 

“If we are going to build a stronger middle class, we need to make sure that Americans can work their way into it. I support increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,” her website reads.

Kirsten Gillibrand

According to Senator Gillibrand’s website, creating jobs has been her “number one priority” as senator of New York. 

“Senator Gillibrand believes the best way to create jobs is by increasing lending and cutting taxes for small businesses, making aggressive investments in infrastructure, and transitioning from foreign fossil fuels to an economy powered by clean, American energy,” her website reads. 

Gillibrand also believes in raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in order to “life millions of families out of poverty,” as well as “encouraging more companies to become employee owned.” 

The post Here’s What Presidential Candidates Have to Say About Hourly Work appeared first on Homebase.

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This week in Homebase news, Aramark launches a program to cover the full college tuition for hourly workers, Nevada bans cannabis testing for job applicants, and a group of students works to boost employment among young adults with autism. Read below to find out more on these stories and other happenings involving local businesses and hourly workers.

Aramark to Cover Hourly Workers’ College Tuition

Food service company Aramark recently announced their “Frontline Education Program,” which will provide full tuition coverage for all Aramark hourly employees. While the program currently only covers tuition for Arizona State University, employees living outside of Arizona can still take part by enrolling in one of ASU’s dozens of online undergraduate programs. 

“Our mission to enrich and nourish lives means we have a responsibility to help our employees achieve their full potential and lead fulfilling lives,” Aramark chairman, president and CEO Eric J. Foss said. “Education is key to making that happen and we are proud to provide this learning pathway to our dedicated frontline team members who want to advance their education and grow their careers.”

Report: Small Business Loan Approval Reaches Record High

Big bank approval for small business loan application rose to a record high of 27.6 percent, with small bank approval hitting 50 percent for the first time this year, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index

“Small business lending is thriving this year at big banks, as well as at regional and community banks. Currently, access to capital is quite good for small business owners who are looking to grow their enterprises,” Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora said. “In a strong economy such as this one, entrepreneurs with a solid record of payment are likely to get the financing they need for working capital and future growth needs.”

Amazon Plans to Spend $700M to Teach Employees New Skills

Amazon announced a plan to retrain 100,000 of its U.S. employees (or one-third of its U.S. workforce) by 2025 to help them find new careers or progress into more advanced positions. 

Most of the training will be free and voluntary and will cost Amazon $7,000 per employee, or $700 million total. The program is one of the biggest corporate retraining initiatives ever announced. 

Nevada Bans Cannabis Testing for Job Applicants 

Starting January 2020, Nevada employers will no longer be able to legally reject a job candidate due to a positive test for cannabis use. The move comes after recreational marijiuana was made legal in the state in 2017. 

Nevada is now part of a growing list of jurisdictions that has made it illegal for businesses to not hire someone because of cannabis use. However, employers are still legally allowed to test current employees for cannabis presence and can take disciplinary action over a positive test result. 

Students Aim to Increase Employment of Autistic Young Adults 

Students of MERISTEM, a Sacramento program that helps young adults with developmental difficulties learn how to live independently, developed an employer manual and a series of training sessions during a leadership lab that was held by the state as part of an Autism employment pilot program. 

The 12 students — who together form the Transformational Advocacy Project — partnered with the California Workforce Association to interview employers and gather information for their trainings and manual. 

“We feel that these really small changes to the customary hiring and training process at companies can make a huge difference in getting these successful workers to bring their value to the companies,” TAP program director Valerie Baadh Garrett said. 

The post College Tuition Coverage, Cannabis Testing Ban & Other Weekly News appeared first on Homebase.

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Can hiring family work?  We see an example of this every day in the White House: President Trump counts his daughter and son-in-law as advisors. Is it working for him?  What about in a small business? Not surprisingly, the same issues can arise when you hire family members whether your business is large or small.  

Many small business owners who hire family members are hoping to build a legacy they can pass on to their children or help relatives by giving them a job.  But it often comes with difficulty — for better or worse. Even in the best of circumstances, when a family member brings great ideas and needed change to the business, it’s often hard for the owner who built the company (through blood, sweat, and tears) to let go and accept the positive changes under someone else’s watch.  In the worst case scenario, when the family member is a drain on the business, terminating employment can make it difficult to maintain a personal relationship.  

All the pain and agony of hiring family members may not be worth it in the end.  According to the Harvard Business Review, 70 percent of family businesses will not last long enough for the second generation to take over either because they went out of business or were sold.  

Still going to hire a family member? For the many small business owners who have a dream to (or just the need to)  hire family members, here are a few tips to help you find success and keep your sanity.

Align family members’ strengths with the right position

Hiring a family member can be a perfect solution for filling a position that requires someone you trust, like bookkeeping or cash handling. Family members may also be the best option for hard- to-fill positions. Oftentimes the best source of a new prep cook is your current cook’s cousin or sibling referral.  Proceed with caution, however, because sometimes the very fact that you are family can mean that you can be blind to character flaws and could still be vulnerable to theft and embezzlement.  

Give your children space to fail and learn 

At the Queens Cups, a bakery in Massachusetts, a husband and wife team work for their daughter who started the business a few years ago. Barbara (the mother) says that the recipe for success is to allow your children the space to make their own decisions. Although she and her husband (who has a background in the food industry) give their advice, ultimately the final decision is their daughter’s. Queens Cups is doing incredibly well, but for Barbara, it is not easy to watch your children make decisions that are different from how you would have made them. 

Working with family may require prioritizing relationships over your ideal business decision.  To work with family members, you have to let go and give them the space to fail. We become wise through failure.  Watching your children fail is a part of being a parent. Watching your child fail in business can be excruciating. However, it’s important to think about your past failures and remember the life lessons they taught you. Enlist someone from the outside as a mentor for your relative so that you don’t bear the sole responsibility for steering family members on the right course.   

Sideline a bad employee

Family members destroy businesses far too often when the owner or manager doesn’t want to face the reality that their relative cannot perform. In the small business space, I advised many family business owners who needed to carve out a role for a relative who could not cut it as an employee.  As you can imagine, employee morale and teamwork breaks down when employees believe that the relative has not earned their position. 

Tasks like social media, networking, and developing community partnerships can keep that family member out of the office and away from irritated employees.  By allowing that person to continue in a position where they are not adding value, you are multiplying the negative impact on your business.  Cut your losses and create a role where the relative will be as least destructive as possible.  

Terminate With Caution

Letting an employee go is never easy.  But letting go of a member of your own or of another employee’s family is extra tricky.  It’s often most difficult after the troublesome employee leaves, if other family members remain.  If you terminate an employee’s family member, you may destroy trust and respect between the remaining employee and the manager, and it will likely result in needing to replace all relatives that you have been employing.  

You must let relatives know before hiring their family member that poor performance may lead to termination, and they should only provide references for family members they know can perform.  

Managing family is a delicate situation that requires less business and leadership knowledge and more personal relationship and conflict management skills.  The relationship will never simply be employee to employee. It will always be a family relationship first.  

The post Tips for Hiring Family Members as Employees appeared first on Homebase.

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From loan access to corporate taxes, several 2020 presidential candidates have touched on issues that affect small business owners as they gear up for the election. Here is where some of the front runners stand. 

Joe Biden

Biden has not said much in terms of small business, but he did support the American Jobs Act in 2011 as Vice President. The legislation cut payroll taxes and loosened regulations on small businesses that wished to raise capital while retaining investor protections. 

While he may not have an extensive record of supporting small businesses, he has given many speeches since leaving office on improving the middle class and stated that he supports a “pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, not just investors” in a 2018 speech.

Bernie Sanders

According to Sanders’ website, he believes that “small business is the driving force of America’s economy.” The presidential candidate has worked to push policies that give small businesses access to low interest loans such as the Small Business Jobs Act that he helped pass in Vermont, as well as measures that increase access to high-quality education such as universal childcare and tuition-free public universities. 

Sanders advocated for  “laws to hold small business loan interest rates to the same rate offered by the Federal Reserve to foreign banks” in his Six-Point Plan to rein in Wall Street. 

He also defends Net Neutrality as he considers it vital to providing small businesses the “same opportunities as multinational corporations to build their businesses and access customers.” 

Elizabeth Warren 

Warren believes “small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy.” She unveiled a plan just before Tax Day that would level the playing field for small businesses by closing tax loopholes and preventing big businesses (such as Amazon) from paying “a lower effective corporate tax rate than smaller companies.”

She has hosted the annual Massachusetts Business Matchmaker in her home state, which hundreds of small business owners attend to participate in workshops and networking. 

Warren also proposed a plan to support minority-owned businesses through a $7 billion initiative that would provide grants to business owners who are eligible for the SBA 8(a) program and have a household income of less than $100,000. 

Kamala Harris

Harris has not announced any proposals pertaining to small businesses during her campaign, but in 2014 she helped small and mid-size businesses protect themselves against cyber attacks as Attorney General of California by issuing recommendations on ways to prevent malware and data breaches

Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke unveiled a plan in June to “spur the development of 200,000 new women- and minority-owned small businesses” by unlocking “over half a trillion dollars” in resources.

“Beto understands the unique challenges facing small business owners – and that those challenges are only heightened for women entrepreneurs and people of color,” his website reads. 

O’Rourke’s website also says he would “appoint a Consumer Financial Protection director who will prioritize implementing regulations that will make it easier to fight discrimination against small business owners who are women and people of color.” 

Cory Booker

As a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sen. Booker hosts forums in New Jersey where small business owners can network, share best practices and learn about available government resources. 

Booker’s website says he “believes that the federal government has an important role to play in helping American businesses – particularly small businesses- succeed and create more jobs.” 

He introduced the Startup Opportunity Accelerator Act to “direct $25 million in funding over five years to a Growth Accelerator Fund, which would allow startup businesses to compete for grants to help their businesses grow.”

Pete Buttigieg

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg recently announced a policy to help minorities start businesses. The policy would allow those who qualified for the Pell Grant to defer their student loan payments if they start a business. Furthermore, if they have three to five employees within five years, their loans would be forgiven. 

Buttigieg partnered with Accelerator for America in 2018 to attract investment in areas of South Bend that weren’t generating economic growth (dubbed “Opportunity Zones”) with the use of tax incentives. 

“As we further experiment with new ideas and refine our approach to economic development, we hope other cities can learn from ideas that have succeeded in South Bend, and vice versa. Now – perhaps more than ever – cities have to lead for their own people, and have to engage with each other to create progress at scale,” Buttigieg said on his website. 

Andrew Yang

Yang released a Timing of Payments for Small Business policy, which aims to address the issue of big businesses “spurring cash flow issues” by “stalling payments” to smaller contractors. 

“As president, I will work with Congress to pass a law requiring any company with more than 1,000 employees or more than $50 million in annual revenue, if fulfillment is not in dispute, to pay any invoice from a company with less than $5 miliion in revenue or fewer than 100 employees within 60 days of the date agreed upon or pay a rate of 7% annualized interest per month on the overdue payment,” Yang’s website reads. 

Yang added on his website that he knows from personal experience how it feels to be “stuck waiting forever for a giant client to get around to paying” and said big businesses shouldn’t “use small businesses as an unofficial credit line.” 

Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Klobuchar, along with Sen. Tim Scott, announced in March the creation of a bipartisan entrepreneurship caucus that will work to figure out why the creation of new businesses has declined over the last thirty years and write policy around the findings to fix the issue. 

“New businesses are the engines that drive economic growth, but fewer and fewer startups are launched every year,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Establishing the bipartisan Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus will allow Congress to work with entrepreneurs across the country to stimulate innovation, create jobs, and move the country forward.”

Kristen Gillibrand

Gillibrand has a history of advocating for small businesses. In 2018 she wrote the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, which gave the U.S. Small Business Administration the ability to help small businesses moving to an employee stock ownership plan by allowing the companies to take out loans and use them to buy shares from shareholders before dividing the shares among their employees. 

She also introduced the Microloan Modernization Act, which would provide loans to and help women and minorities who are having trouble obtaining loans from banks. The bill is currently awaiting House approval.

The post Here’s What Presidential Candidates Have to Say About Small Business appeared first on Homebase.

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Taco Bell’s unique twist on the traditional job fair tactic has proven to be successful in this era of low unemployment rates. Since April 22 the franchise has hosted 600 “hiring parties” at Taco Bell restaurants in 450 cities across the country, which have been an integral part of beefing up their seasonal team member staff for the summer. 

The parties are open to anyone curious about working at Taco Bell and provide job candidates with a chance to mingle with the staff, learn more about the perks (scholarship opportunities, educational counseling and more) and possibly even get hired on the spot after being interviewed. 

“At Taco Bell, we believe that creating a different sort of work place starts with a hiring process as unique as we are,” Chief People Officer Frank Tucker said in a statement. “People are an integral part of the brand, and Hiring Parties provide job candidates with an insider’s look at what makes Taco Bell restaurants a place to want to work and grow.” 

The parties are part of a bigger initiative by Taco Bell “dedicated to innovating the restaurant employee experience,” according to the statement. 

“It is important to ensure passionate employees can get the most out of their time working at a Taco Bell restaurant – beginning on day one,” Vice President of People and Experience Bjorn Erland said. “Whether you start in a Taco Bell restaurant as a seasonal team member or stay for a decades-long career, everyone should be able to pursue their personal, professional and educational passions.”

Hiring parties are a good way to stand out in the crowd in this challenging labor market. Take a page out of Taco Bell’s playbook and throw your own. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Figure out the logistics

The first step to throwing any kind of party is to figure out your date, time and location. If you plan on throwing the party inside your place of business, make sure you’ve got enough empty space to accommodate the anticipated number of candidates. 

You should also ensure you’ve got a clear space for an application station to stand out. Consider having a few tablets out for candidates to input their information and make it easy on them by not requiring them to bring an application or apply online beforehand. That’s what the party is for! 

Step 2: Make it a party

Taco Bell took the average job fair and spiced it up to attract a crowd with free Nacho Fries and Watermelon Freezes, party games such as Taco Bell trivia, Instagram-worthy photo ops,  even signing bonuses in the form of gift cards for those who got hired on the spot. 

Make a theme out of your business for the day and create your own “on-brand” games, photo booths and freebies that will draw in job candidates and keep them around long enough for you to interview as many potential employees as possible. 

Step 3: Advertise the occasion

Obviously you need to get the word out about your event so that job candidates will attend, but if you generate enough buzz about your hiring party, you might see a nice bump in online applications from those who are interested in a job but didn’t come. Taco Bell said the promotional activity around the parties prompted over 300 people to apply online after the events were over. 

If you follow step 2 correctly and give your party a little photogenic pizzazz, the job candidates may do most of the marketing for you by posting their unique experience online. 

Hopefully your hiring parties will follow in the footsteps of Taco Bell’s shindigs and generate plenty of good candidates for your business. Happy hiring! 

The post How to Throw Your Own Taco Bell Hiring Party appeared first on Homebase.

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On Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, there sits a lovely, unique restaurant dedicated to good food and a great experience. Mersea offers a stunning view of San Francisco to go along with the comfort casual cuisine, and co-founding partner Meesun Boice said the idea for the unique place came about after she met executive chef and restaurateur Parke Ulrich in the Treasure Island Yacht Club. 

Meesun, who previously had a long career in tech and calls herself an “accidental restaurateur,” learned of both Parke’s dream to one day open a restaurant and of the need for a restaurant on the island, and it was then that the idea for Mersea was born. 

The two began crafting their proposal to present to the board and were given the suggestion by friends to incorporate shipping containers into the concept. While the execution of the idea was neither as easy nor as quick as those friends led on, Meesun said it made for an interesting and amazing experience and resulted in the realization of a place that has something for everyone and makes its guests feel at ease. 

“I think there’s a magic to this place. It has a magical aura where you feel like you’re coming into our home,” Meesun said.

Meesun said one of the most amazing joys of operating Mersea in the year and a half that it’s been open has been witnessing how the customers react to both the incredible view of San Francisco and the great food. The menu options are made with care by Parke, touted by Meesun as “one of the best chefs in San Francisco.” She added that it’s Parke’s commitment to the food that makes the cuisine truly shine. 

Meesun and Parke discovered Homebase through Clover, their POS system, and initially used it strictly for clocking in and out and schedule building before discovering other tools that could make their lives much easier: the Schedule Events and Hiring features. 

Easy Event Planning

Mersea hosts many events for large groups, ranging anywhere from a dinner party of 12 to 1500 guests. Initially Meesun was juggling different programs to try and schedule staff for the events and said the experience was “disjointed” until she found she could do it much more efficiently on Homebase. 

“I can add events within Homebase as I’m doing the schedule and I can see if I have enough people,” she said. “The user interface is amazing because all I have to do is color code. I found it to be one of the most user-friendly, efficient, effective tools to manage my team and, in a way, my operations, because I can better manage my employees, especially because of the various events that come up.”

Hiring Made Simple

Meesun and Parke use the hiring feature to turn an often exhausting task into a streamlined, efficient experience. Instead of using several different hiring channels to find employees, the two can view resumes in their Homebase dashboard.

The best part? They know the candidates they find with the tool will require less training when they start on the job because they already use Homebase. 

“We found some amazing staff, and I saw the value in the seamless integration,” Meesun said. 

A Good Clover Complement

Clover and Homebase working in tandem to cover all aspects of Mersea’s operations has made for an easy business-running experience. 

“We use Clover primarily for financials to look at the reporting, and as far as labor I defer to Homebase because it pulls in that data and I’m able to see how we’re doing,” Meesun said. 

Meesun added that Homebase is Mersea’s “baseline to look at the reports” while offsite because of the easy-to-use dashboard, making it “a tremendous tool.” 

Thanks to all the features Homebase has to offer, what was once a simple timesheet program to Mersea is now key to running the show. 

“It’s become a great focal point of our business and operations,” Meesun said.

Learn more about how Homebase can help your business manage your team.

The post Customer Story: How a Treasure Island Restaurant Uses Homebase to Work Easier appeared first on Homebase.

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This week in Homebase news, Amazon workers plan to strike on Prime Day, a seafood restaurant uses $20,000 robots to complete duties formerly performed by humans, and Walmart uses virtual reality to delegate promotions. Read below to find out more on these stories and other happenings involving local businesses and hourly workers. 

Walmart Uses VR to Delegate Promotions

Walmart has incorporated VR headsets into their assessment program to find candidates for management positions in all of their 4,600 locations. 

Ten thousand employees have participated in the VR test so far, which puts employees in scenarios to determine how they might respond to different challenges and tasks. The move is part of a larger plan to give employees more power in their roles by changing how many managers oversee teams. 

Presidential Candidate Announces Small Business Investment Plan for Minorities

South Bend, Indiana Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigeg announced a policy proposal Sunday that would allow those who qualified for Pell Grants to defer student loan payments if they start a business. 

The Walker-Lewis Plan, named after African-American entrepreneurs Madam CJ Walker and Reginald Lewis, would close the economic wealth gap, according to Buttigeg. 

Buttigeg also proposed creating a $10 billion fund to invest in minority-owned businesses. 

Amazon Workers Plan Strike on Prime Day

Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota are planning to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of a 48-hour online sale known as the Prime Day sales event. 

The workers are demanding more permanent jobs for temporary workers and reduced productivity quotas. An employee who is involved in the strike told Bloomberg that the employees want to “put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe and reliable jobs.” 

Seafood Restaurant Uses Chinese Robots

Robot Captain Crabs Cajun Seafood & Bar is now utilizing $20,000 robots to greet customers and serve food. 

Patrons of the restaurant are greeted by Callie and Shirley, small Chinese robots who mosey around the restaurant along with three other robots who serve food to tables. 

General Manager John Soysal first saw the concept in China and decided to bring it back to the states, and he said he’s already seeing success. He added that the robots don’t replace human employees, but rather benefit the staff by making their jobs easier. 

The post Amazon Strike, Restaurant Robots & Other Weekly News appeared first on Homebase.

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Emeryville, a San Francisco suburb and home of Pixar Animation Studios, raised their minimum wage on July 1 from $15 to $16.30 per hour — making it the highest rate in the country. 

The upgrade comes after an ordinance was passed in 2015 that mandated a minimum wage increase every year in an effort to increase pay for hourly workers — but small business owners are concerned that the hike in costs will hurt them. 

According to the ordinance, an amendment was adopted in May that established a $15 per hour minimum wage for “Small Independent Restaurants” (restaurants with an employee count of 55 or less) for fiscal year 2019-2020, after which the rate would gradually increase until 2027, when it would be brought to the same level as other businesses. 

Officials said the goal of the amendment is to prevent job loss by ensuring that small business owners can stay afloat without having to cut staff, but unions and advocates who filed a referendum petition against the amendment say it hurts hourly workers and sets a dangerous precedent. 

The petition has enough signatures to send the amendment back to City Council for further review. The registrar of voters could make a decision on the amendment as early as Tuesday July 9, or they could decide to bring it to the voters at a future election, but in the meantime, restaurant owners are left wondering about their payroll. 

“Business owners are coming in incredibly freaked out. They don’t know what to do,” said Mayor Ally Medina told the San Francisco Chronicle.  “It’s terrible. Workers don’t know how much they’re going to be paid. Businesses set their payroll a month in advance. It’s messy.”

The referendum will remain in effect until a decision is reached on the results of the petition. If City Council accepts the certification of the petition results, Small Independent Restaurants will have to comply with the $16.30 per hour minimum wage. 

The post Impact of Highest US Minimum Wage on Small Businesses Hangs in Balance appeared first on Homebase.

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To celebrate the recent International Small Business Day, Google launched the Google for Small Business portal that provides business owners with suggestions on which of its products to use. 

The website, which was announced at the Grow with Google Learning Center in New York City, asks you to input a bit of information about your business. Then, Google provides tailored suggestions on which of its tools would be best to improve your specific business and reach your goals.

Google for Small Business is part of the Grow with Google initiative, which offers training, free tools, and events to promote career and business improvement. 

“Over the years, we’ve built a range of tools to help these businesses use the web to grow and thrive,” Google’s Global Product Director of Small Business Ads Kim Spalding said in a press release. “In 2018, our Search and Advertising tools helped create $335 billion in economic activity for millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the United States. These tools make it easier for small business owners to find and connect with customers and run their businesses.”

While the Google-made tool sticks to Google products in their suggestions for your business, it is a great way to learn simple ways to make your venture. Here is a breakdown of how the new website works and how it can help you promote your business. 

Personalized plans 

You’ll be prompted to answer a few questions about your business when you visit Google for Small Business, such as: 

  • What is the name of your business?
  • What are your specific goals?
  • Where do you primarily serve customers? 

Your results will then be gathered and a step-by-step plan complete with the top product recommendations tailored to you and your specific goals will be presented. 

For example, if your goal is to stand out online, the service may suggest you take the following steps: 

  1. Engage with customers on Google by connecting with them through the Google My Business app. 
  2. Utilize Google Ads to create ad campaigns and reach more customers who are using Google Search and Google Maps to find businesses like yours. 
  3. Create a YouTube channel to reach a new customer base. 

Other options you can select besides standing out online are “reach more customers,” and “work more efficiently,” and other tools that may be offered based on your answers include G Suite and Google Analytics. 

Workshop events 

The “In-person training” tab on the website informs you of Grow with Google workshops that will be taking place in your area. The workshops are events that will teach you how to get the most out of your business’s online presence. 

To find events in your area, simply input your city and state into the “find a Google training near you” section of the page. Below the search bar, you should see a couple of events that are located near you already. You also have the option to get more details and RSVP to a workshop you would like to attend.  

Small business content 

Click on the “Latest updates” tab on the site to find a page full of relevant content surrounding small business owners and how Google has helped them thrive. 

Top stories on the front page include a feature on a female-owned ice cream company, a write-up on Google My Business features, and a piece by Google CEO Sundar Pichai about helping businesses across the country. 

All in all, the new tool is beneficial for new business owners who may be just starting their online presence or want to grow it but aren’t quite sure where to start. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on new technology and strategies that Google has to offer. Click here to explore the site and see how it can help you. 

The post How to Use the New Google for Small Business Portal appeared first on Homebase.

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Keeping track of employee hours is an essential step in running a business. It’s important to have the right tool to serve as your time-tracking sidekick and alleviate one area of stress in the hectic world of business management, and in this high-tech, connected world, paper time cards just don’t cut it. You need a mobile app. 

Still, searching through the array of apps that seemingly do the same thing can be daunting, and the stress of deciding which one comes with features that work best for your business can be a bit counterproductive (isn’t that what you’re trying to minimize?).

We took the guesswork out of choosing an employee time clock app and compiled a list of five great options so you can decide for yourself which one works best for you. Of course, we included our free time clock app on the list and firmly believe it’s the best on the list. But don’t take it from us. Let the features do the talking! 

1. Homebase

Price: Free for a basic plan, with upgrades starting at $16 a month per location 

Tracking employee attendance and hourly work is truly a breeze when you use Homebase’s time clock app. Our comprehensive app takes away the headache that comes with unnecessary paperwork and allows you to: 

  • Track time worked from any device: You have the ability to turn any browser, tablet or mobile phone into a sophisticated time clock, and all of your data syncs seamlessly in the cloud. 
  • View data in real time: You can see your labor costs and labor cost percentage in real time from whatever device you’re using. 
  • Use GPS to clock in: If you have workers on a remote job site, they can clock in once they reach the appropriate location. You can also verify their clock-in location on the timesheet. 
  • Use a PIN: Setting up a four- or six-digit PIN for speedy clock-ins and clock-outs takes away the need for complicated passwords. 
  • Go offline: Just because your internet connection goes down doesn’t mean your productivity should. Our app will keep tracking data at all times. 
  • Easily edit times: In the case that someone forgot to clock in, managers can edit right from the employee time clock. 
  • Reduce compliance risks: Get ahead of any would-be surprise issues with time-clock rules and real-time notifications. Our app allows you to enforce the schedule and sends you alerts if someone hits overtime or doesn’t show up for their shift. 
  • Ensure added security: When employees clock in, the Homebase app will take a picture of them so you can guarantee that it’s the right person. 

Pair the time clock with our employee scheduling, communication, and hiring features and you’ve got one seamless experience. Our software also integrates with the following payroll providers: 

  • ADP
  • Gusto
  • Quickbooks
  • Heartland
  • Square Payroll
  • Millennium Payroll Solutions
  • Sure Payroll
  • Bank of America Merchant Services 
2. Deputy

Price:  $4/user a month 

The Deputy app allows employees to clock in and out with an on-site iPad or Android tablet and comes with features such as: 

  • A kiosk that immediately shows employees the tasks they need to complete upon clocking in. 
  • A multitasking screen that allows employees to clock in and out without closing the point-of-sale screen to reduce workflow interruption. 
  • Break management that ensures employees take breaks at the appropriate time and that they don’t start working again too early. 
  • A communication tool that gives employees a channel to communicate with their coworkers and managers. 
  • The ability to generate invoices based on hours worked that can go into your favorite accounting software. 

The app also lets you auto-allocate job codes or employees per invoice line and use dynamic reports to track budgets, transactions, and other variables.

While Deputy offers several beneficial features for business owners, the software does not allow for remote clock-ins and does not take photos of employees as they clock in, leaving room for buddy punching. 

3. TSheets

Price: $20 a month + $5/user a month

TSheets is Quickbooks’ time clock app offering and, according to the website, works well for employees in a central location such as warehouses, construction sites or retail stores. The TSheets Time Tracker lets employees use their own devices to keep track of their time easily and quickly. The app also provides: 

  • Reminders to clock in and out and take breaks.
  • Photo capture and facial recognition to ensure the right employee is clocking in. 
  • The ability for employees to easily review and submit timesheets directly from the app. Employees can also receive notifications when their timesheets are due based on your settings. 
  • Remote tracking that can be used in multiple locations on whatever device your employee is using. 

TSheets provides several great benefits for businesses, but with the base monthly fee as well as the charge per user, it can get pretty pricey for businesses with more than just a few employees. 

4. Toggl

Price: $20/user a month

Toggl is mainly used by freelancers as a time-tracking tool, but the company also has a team time clock app that lets you keep track of multiple employees’ hours. The software eliminates the need for time cards and lets you track hours on the go. 

Unique features the app offers include: 

  • Reports that give business insight
  • Customized entries for specific projects and clients 
  • Suggestions on tracking options based on your time entries and habits. 

Toggl is another service that can get expensive depending on how many users you have. 

5. Replicon

Price: $30 a month for up to 5 employees and $5/user to add employees

Replicon is another mobile time clock app that aims to integrate seamlessly with HR and payroll systems, and also offers “train the trainer” sessions to work towards a fast implementation. It also claims to be good for providing a centralized service for a “dispersed workforce,” according to their website. 

The software offers capabilities such as: 

  • A global pay rule library that helps you stay on top of multi-state and multi-jurisdiction labor compliance obligations. 
  • Control over employee availability and schedules; you have the ability to manage shifts in real-time. 
  • Time-off requests; employees can view the status of their requests in their own app. 

Based on the different features each time clock app provides, you should have a better idea of which one is the right fit for you. If you still need help deciding, we suggest Homebase– it’s free. It’s easy. And it’s seamless. Even better, dive in deeper with a free trial of our paid plans to discover the array of features waiting to make your business management that much easier. 

The post What is the Best Time Clock App for Business Owners? appeared first on Homebase.

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