Coronavirus relief: Long Doggers owners use emergency relief money to set $20 minimum wage for employees

By Suzy Fleming Leonard

April 2, 2020

John “LJ” Burr and his partners at Long Doggers are entrepreneurs. They’re used to thinking on their feet and planning on the fly.

When indoor dining was limited and then closed because of quickly changing COVID-19 mandates, the six Long Doggers restaurants across the county began offering groceries through their drive-through windows.

Now, as Florida begins a 30-day stay-at-home order, Burr wants to take care of his employees. Money coming in from the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will go to set a $20 minimum wage for everyone who works at the restaurants.

“The $20 minimum wage is a way to tell the staff that they’re important, and the job that they’re doing is important,” Burr said, “We’re going to call it a COVID hazard pay.”

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