Regarding Fair Wages – are there government subsidies or public funds available to help support the bookstore to pay our employees – also – any assistance on healthcare provisions

Host:  Irene Ryan

Participants:

  • Kate Weiss, Binc
  • Kit Steinaway, Binc
  • Talia Whyte, Rozzie Bound
  • Ellen Speers, Titcomb’s

Notes

  • What is needed to open a bookstore in a new location?
  • Is there a lack of workers or a lack of living-wage paying jobs?
  • What resources does a bookstore need to pay a living wage to booksellers?
  • High turnover is an issue for a lot of stores. We’re not able to keep employees because of pay. 
  • Now more than ever people need jobs with health care. The realities of the P&L don’t allow for paying booksellers a living wage ($25/hr). You can’t just sell books anymore. 
  • Rozzie Bound is using a co-op model. They are working with a lawyer. The worker/owner model helps with fair compensation. They get a share of the profits at the end of the year.
    • With a sole owner the risk is on one person.
  • Offering a living wage would lead to a stronger bookstore, of employees who are invested in the business’s success.
  • Looking at hiring younger employees and retired employees. Looking at different avenues to employ booksellers.
  • Don’t know how long they are going to be able to keep great employees.
  • There’s no win in health insurance. If it’s offered the employee by the business the state assistance is taken away.
  • An HSA was out of budget.
  • Mental health resources are needed. 
  • What are booksellers making? Are people starting at minimum wage? The store can’t afford to do more. Minimum wage is still the starting point at many stores. 
  • Diversifying with sidelines, cafe, gifts, etc. to increase bottom line to pay people better. 
  • Different communities have fundraised to support the bookstore.

https://www.bincfoundation.org/resources/ further resources from the Binc Foundation. And always feel free to reach out! info@bincfoundation.org for questions about emergency financial assistance email our help@bincfoundation.org or call 866-733-9064

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