Laughing Planet Café has 14 restaurants spread across Oregon and Nevada. Its 280 employees spend their workdays making burritos named after Che Guevara and mixing up salads called Highway to Kale. And now, in a move nearly unheard of in the restaurant world, they will all have three months of fully paid parental leave after they have a new baby.
Laughing Planet’s owner and chief executive Franz Speilvogel made the decision last week, after a pregnant store manager expressed concerns that she wouldn’t be able to take any maternity leave. “She’s entering her final trimester, and she talked about the circumstances of being an employee in my company and what she’s faced with,” said Speilvogel, whose Portland (Ore.) company didn’t previously have any parental leave policy in place. “I told her, let me think about it and get back to you.” He was still thinking about it a few days later when President Obama announced that federal workers would now get six weeks of paid sick leave and that he planned to push Congress to extend those rights to everyone else.
Small, local businesses lack access to capital. Banks will place restrictions before giving loans, like asking for collateral, wanting to see years of revenues, or asking for personal covenants. And then venture and angel investors aren’t interested in the low-rate returns hairdressers, restaurants and furniture-makers can offer; they want “high growth.”
That is why small, local businesses generally stay as small, local businesses. But what if small businesses could reach over the top of those market failures to the general public and investors who are willing to suffer the relatively low returns on offer? That might open up options.
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While U.S. cable television customers are longing to finally be able to pay for just the channels they actually watch, others have begrudgingly accepted that bundled television is still the way to go for getting their money’s worth. Companies like DISH, Verizon, and Sony have only announced in the last year their own plans for stand-alone streaming services. With a few clicks, $8 for Netflix NFLX +0.75%, $15 for HBO, $20 for ESPN could easily add up to a higher total than what customers currently pay for only a few channels they actually watch in a bundle. What’s more, it doesn’t look like companies will use the same set-top box, if they use set-top boxes at all (Sony and Verizon are looking to offer services completely on the cloud).
v.19 n. 09 – Released February 24, 2015
This Week’s Headlines:
Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:
- Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
- Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
- Shackling for prolonged periods.
- Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
- Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
This isn’t like the secret police, this IS the secret police. You should be pissed and complaining about this to anyone who will listen. Note that this is a BRITISH newspaper exposing this travesty. – Ed