With changes in government affecting everything from minimum wage to employee scheduling, 2018 was quite the year for labour laws in Ontario. To start, the $15 minimum wage promised by the previous administration was not implemented on the first of January, nor will workers get the two paid sick days promised by Bill 148. For both employers and employees, there is much to process, let alone administer or implement.
No law is needed to be a good employer
To Jimson Bienenstock, owner of HotBlack Coffee, good business practices boil down to common sense, and his cafe is one of the few in Toronto choosing to move forward with the $15 minimum wage for new employees. Those making above the minimum wage will earn an additional $1 per hour. The business will also offer the paid sick days as promised from Bill 148, even though it’s no longer required to do so.
The news has been spreading like wildfire, with Bienenstock making appearances on Global TV, CP 24, and CBC Toronto. More than anything else, the attention puzzles him. “We continue to be shocked that this is even newsworthy, as we feel that it should be common sense,” he said.
How cash flow affects businesses and employees
The pressure to keep operating costs low and cash flow in the green is always intense. A recent QuickBooks survey found that 61 percent of the respondents in Australia, Canada, India, the U.S., and the UK struggle with cash flow, with the number being slightly higher, at 64%, among Canadian small businesses.
On average, business owners in Canada are losing $28,885 by foregoing projects or sales specifically due to insufficient cash flow, which impacts their ability to pay vendors, loans, and employees—relationships that businesses rely on to succeed. For many, their cash flow issue isn’t having the lack of funds in the pipeline but having access to the funds when needed for real-time expenses.
Leverage technology to improve cash flow and benefits
As the great equalizer, technology levels the playing field for small businesses to stay competitive in a fast-paced market. A QuickBooks user for years, Bienenstock just wanted everyone to enjoy the rewards of a cash flow positive business after 10 months of operation. He also told TSheets how his staff will be getting their pay raise thanks in part to the businesses’ accounting software.
But more importantly, technology relieves business owners like Bienenstock from being stuck in the weeds when laden with administrative tasks and focus on the aspects of the business that technology can’t always help with: relationships and partnerships.
Since becoming a local hero, Bienenstock has won over many hearts among employees and existing and prospective customers. Isabel Kim is a barista at HotBlack. In her interview with Global TV, she said, “He actually cares about his business and us.” Meanwhile, the cafe’s social media accounts and comment boxes are filled with pledges of patronage and loyalty.