Unemployment pays too much to make rescue packages work for restaurants

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Getting restaurant workers back to work will be tough because unemployment pays more. Restaurants want their own rescue package.

Cafes, small shops, restaurants represent only 9 percent of those applying for small business relief.

Just as Republicans warned, paying unemployment benefits of $24 an hour would slow the economy down. But Democrats might want that with an election coming up.

The new Paycheck Protection Program waives repayment of small business loans if the borrower uses 75 percent of the money to maintain payroll, a measure intended to reduce layoffs. But with the expanded unemployment benefits included in the stimulus bill, some workers can as much as double their weekly checks if they stay unemployed, Politico reports.

The mismatch is particularly acute for restaurants, cafes and small shops — nonessential businesses where pay scales tend to be low that have been put into indefinite hibernation. The National Restaurant Association told CongressMonday that more than 60 percent of restaurant owners believe existing assistance programs, including PPP, are insufficient to keep employees on payroll and asked for $240 billion in aid targeted to their industry.

When the government fixes things, they often don’t. Are you sure you want to give them control over all aspects of your health and welfare?


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