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


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


  • 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. further resources from the Binc Foundation. And always feel free to reach out! for questions about emergency financial assistance email our or call 866-733-9064

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