Covid-19 crisis: Rising costs, low demand force firms to impose surcharge


Facing higher costs to keep workers and customers safe, suppressed demand for an indefinite period, a cap on the number of customers that can be served — all these factors have led some to impose a coronavirus-related fee aimed at getting customers to share some of their expenses.

While some are cutting services and jobs, the stakes of adding surcharges can be higher for small businesses, which tend to operate on thinner profit margins and smaller cash reserves, as they reopen after weeks of shut down and are made to confront a cost-revenue ratio that is increasingly out of whack, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Billy Yuzar, the owner of Kiko Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge in West Plains, Missouri, opted to add a to diners’ tabs as a simple way to compensate for higher food prices at his restaurant, than raising menu prices, because he said he could update the fee in the business’s point-of-sale computer in one step.

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Regular customers were supportive, he said, but when a photo

Trump Heads To Golf Course, Says Will Attend Space Launch


Donald Trump on Saturday underlined his push for a return to normal life in the US by making his first visit to a golf course in two months and confirming he would attend a space launch next week.

Trump took a 35-minute drive from the White House to the Trump National club in Sterling, Virginia, in reportedly his first visit to a golf property since March 8.

It was not confirmed whether the president would play golf, but he was a regular weekend player before the coronavirus lockdown.

The White House on Saturday also confirmed the president would attend the May 27 launch in Florida of two astronauts on a SpaceX mission — the first crewed space flight from US soil in nine years.

“Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security,” Trump said in a statement.

Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are scheduled to blast off from Kennedy Space Center at 4:33 pm (2033 GMT) on Wednesday for the International Space Station, arriving the next day.

The mission is seen as a crucial step towards ending American dependence on Russian rockets.

Asked about going ahead with the

CPWD/CIDC urge 75% of daily wage as Covid-19 allowance to get workers back


The Central Public Works Department, or CPWD, the central government’s premier agency tasked with carrying out road and other public sector construction works, on Thursday recommended a set of guidelines to construction companies that could help recruit construction workers for their sites in the post-Covid phase.

The nine-point guidelines, proposed by the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), suggest a ‘Covid-19 allowance’ of 75 per cent of daily wage, clean accommodation and three meals a day for workers.

The CIDC is an autonomous council jointly set up by the erstwhile Planning Commission, now NITI Aayog, and the Indian construction industry.

The CPWD circulated these guidelines, “recruitment of skilled/ semi-skilled/unskilled construction workers”, to public and private sector construction companies on Thursday.

The director general (DG) of the CIDC PR Swarup had proposed these guidelines on May 2, and the CPWD letter said its DG has approved.

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In the preface to the guidelines, the CIDC stated that the “present exodus of migrant labour across Indian cities who have been engaged with

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