Some business owners cannot compete for jobs with a new unemployment benefit of $ 600: NPR

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Some companies that want to stay open say it’s difficult to do so when employees can make more money by staying at home.

Nongnuch Leelaphasuk / Getty Images / EyeEm

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Nongnuch Leelaphasuk / Getty Images / EyeEm

Some companies that want to stay open say it’s difficult to do so when employees can make more money by staying at home.

Nongnuch Leelaphasuk / Getty Images / EyeEm

$ 600 per week.

This is what the federal government is now offering to people who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus.

For many workers and employers, this money is a boon – a way to keep food on the table while reducing salary costs.

But the extra money can create awkward situations. Some companies wanting to keep their doors open say it’s hard to do when employees can make more money by staying at home.

“We basically have this situation where it would be a logical choice for many people to be unemployed,” said Sky Marietta, who opened a cafe with her husband, Geoff, last year in Harlan, Ky.

Their goal was to provide good coffee, good internet service and an opportunity in a hungry community of the three.

“We are very committed to helping transform downtown and main streets in eastern Kentucky,” said Marietta.

When the couple advertised the workers, nearly 100 people applied for a handful of openings.

The store had only been operational for a few months when the coronavirus struck. Marietta took precautions, asking her employees to wash their hands frequently and to disinfect the door handle.

Eventually, she stopped letting customers enter the store, instead delivering orders to the curb. But Marietta was determined to stay open.

“The # 1 people we serve right now are health care professionals,” she said. “I feel like they don’t have a lot of options, and they certainly deserve at least a little coffee, right? “

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