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IPFS News Link • Business/ Commerce

Manhattan restaurant forced to close as owner can't find workers

•, Nolan Barton

Waitresses that worked there left to become contact tracers, while bartenders went on unemployment. Owner Dean O'Neil was never been able to establish a solid workforce. On most nights, he's only had one chef working in his kitchen.

"I couldn't work out really why. And then I found it was basically they could receive money without having to work. Then they wanted to be paid only in cash. It's unacceptable" said O'Neil.

His workers took advantage of the $300 weekly enhanced unemployment insurance included in the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package signed by former President Donald Trump on December 27 last year. President Joe Biden extended the $300 per week unemployment insurance supplement up to Sept. 6 when he signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package on March 11.

But long before the stimulus packages were signed, the CARES Act enacted in March 2020 provided a $600 weekly benefit on top of regular unemployment insurance benefits. Following the expiration of the supplemental benefit in July 2020, the Trump administration authorized an extra $300 per week federal payment.