FINANCE

Senate rejects minimum wage hike

BY Michael Johnsen

New York — A bid to raise the federal minimum wage was rejected by Republicans in the Senate, who blocked legislation Wednesday to boost the rate to $10.10 an hour. Senators predominantly voted across party lines, which places Democratic senators in favor and Republican senators opposed.

The defeat was expected, and it is expected to serve as a rallying cry for Democrats preparing their next campaign.

"The senators who voted ‘no’ … are doing so contrary to the wishes of the American people," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday. "So what we have seen since the President has been forcefully arguing for raising the minimum wage is support for that proposition around the country," he said. "We’ve seen states acting individually to raise the minimum wage, and that is very heartening."

Carney was referring to Hawaii, which recently raised its minimum wage to $10.10. And in Seattle on Thursday, the minimum wage for that city was raised to $15.

Minimum wage is a hotly contested issue. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of April 8, 38 states considered minimum wage bills during the 2014 session; 34 states are considering increases to the state minimum wage.

In addition to Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., have enacted increases so far in 2014. As of Jan. 1, 2014, 21 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

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OPERATIONS

MyCheck partners with PayPal for U.S. mobile dining payments

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – MyCheck, a checkout app for restaurants, has collaborated with PayPal to enable U.S. consumers to pay at table through the PayPal app. The app itself enables users to select a restaurant from a list, check-in to the venue, and once there, view ordered items and prices on the mobile device, split the bill (if desired), add a tip, redeem an offer, accrue loyalty card stamps, quickly check out by hitting the pay button without waiting for a check, and receive an email receipt.

The MyCheck capability has been operating in the U.K. version of the PayPal app for approximately nine months, where joint advertising campaigns with the Prezzo and Busaba Eathai restaurant chain drove adoption and usage of the app. It is now available in the U.S, version of PayPal.

“This is a hand-in-glove fit, broadening our reach by collaborating with PayPal to leverage their innovations, but also their large customer base,” said Shlomit Kugler, MyCheck co-founder and global CEO. “With MyCheck built into PayPal’s app, mobile app users will now be able to sidestep waiting for the check in full-service restaurants."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

T.J.Maxx conducts live fashion experiment

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. — T.J.Maxx partnered with developmental and fashion psychologist Prof. Karen Pine to conduct a live fashion experiment that shows how women use fashion to make themselves feel proud, empowered and happy.

Last year, T.J.Maxx conducted a study that found that women aren’t fashion victims but rather use fashion as a tool to express their personalities (77%) and individuality (74%).

As part of the experiment, T.J.Maxx invited women in four key developmental age groups to select the pieces that express their best self to the world. Pine and a team of researchers observed the sessions to understand each group’s varying approach, and from that, they classified key fashion stages.

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