Small business owners share why they support citywide earned sick days policy at St. Paul coffee shop and launch Shop Your Values campaign to encourage customers and community members to shop at businesses that best reflect their values.
St. Paul small business owners gathered at Workhorse Coffee on University to urge City Council to pass the citywide earned sick and safe time ordinance currently being considered by the St. Paul City Council.
“Paid sick time just makes sense to us. Making sure employees can stay home if they are sick makes sense from a health perspective,” said Shannon Forney, Owner, Workhorse Coffee.“We see our employee as a core to our success. They work hard for us, so we want to treat them fairly.”
Eric Foster, co- owner of Ward 6 served on the HREEO task force in the Spring of 2016. “We spent a lot of time working on a policy that would be best for St. Paul and came up with good language that makes practical sense for business. It was a fair and reasonable process.”
“Minnesota has traditionally shown itself to be a place where we succeed when we look out for each other. It's the right thing to do,” said Bob Parker, co-owner of Ward 6 Food & Drink. “Some business owners might be afraid of the change, just as they were of the smoking ban. In the end, they’ll see that the benefits, like retention, outweigh the cost. Turnover is bad for business, and keeping worker means they will stay around to make our business strong.”
James Williams, owner of 6th Chamber Used Books on Grand Avenue agreed. “As a society, we keep moving away from supporting people and workers, and earned sick and safe time is a basic protection that is very sensible.”
“As a small nonprofit, we feel the need to make this work to show we are committed to our employees,” said Chad Kampe, Executive Director of the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute. “If employees come in sick, it could make the students we work with sick, and we can’t let that happen.”
Matt Zanetti, the owner of Lake Monster Brewing, shared his perspective as a parent and business owner: “I'm looking for best employees and want to keep them. Sick time is a simple way to do that.”
The event also announced a “Shop Your Values” campaign with map of forty St Paul businesses who support earned sick and safe time: www.tinyurl.com/SYV-STP
“I’m delighted to be in a cohort of other food businesses and small employers who support sick time,” said Shannon Forney. “By using our voice and agency, we are working together to make a difference.”
Corinne Horowitz, State Director of Main Street Alliance of Minnesota, also encouraged additional businesses to sign on with their support. “We know many small businesses both here in St Paul and statewide care about their employees and their communities,” said Horowitz. “We encourage Minnesotans to shop their values, and patronize businesses that support their employees, the community, and working families.”