Those present: Tom Murray and Caroline Kaganov, Conor O’Neill’s; Francyne Stacey, Hooper Hathaway; Judy Comstock and Andrea Klein, Republic Parking; Eman Tillawi, Gratzi; Cathy Marks, Ten Thousand Villages; Rita Jourdan and Katie Milliron, Cherry Republic; Amy Cameron, ITHAKA/JSTOR; Alan Freedman, Four Directions; Nick Yribar, Vault of Midnight; Alison Reed, The Ark; Doug Martelle and Tom Kooy, Ann Arbor Police Department; Pem Sherpa, The Himalayan Bazaar; Susan Pollay, Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority; Jeff Thomas, Bennett Optometry; Ed Shaffran, Shaffran Companies; Frank Wilson, iT…The Boutique; Sarah Bush, Bali Ha’i Dreams; Pippa Creffield and Natalie Zolg, Abracadabra; Nate Nuttle, Blank Slate Creamery; Lisa Reach, Ann Arbor News/MLive; Duc Tang, Pacific Rim; Carl Ent, Bank of Ann Arbor; Chris Baker, Bennett Optometry; Mary Morgan, The CivCity Initiative
Tom Murray, President of MSAA
Greetings and Introductions
Francyne Stacey, Hooper Hathaway: How to Respond to Government Inspectors – your rights and compliance issues
The Department of Labor is currently working on raising the overtime threshold for salaried employees. The proposed legislation, slated to be issued at the end of 2016 to go into effect in 2017, would raise the current threshold of $455/week (the equivalent of $23,660/year) to about $970/week ($50,440/year), meaning salaried employees making up to $50,440/year would be eligible for overtime pay. This legislation will have an impact on many small businesses employing salaried managers and staff.
In response to recent OSHA and Department of Labor visits to member businesses, Ms. Stacey addressed best practices in dealing with these audits. Your business may be audited by OSHA or the Department of Labor at any time, and they may or may not give you advance notice of this audit. In the event you are audited, be courteous. You may inquire into the nature of the audit (random or complaint-based) and you may also ask for time to prepare your documents, although you do not have the right to deny them access at the time. Some preventative measures you can take to make sure any potential audits go well are to keep good records, maintain accurate payroll and job descriptions, and be sure to classify your employees properly (exempt vs. non-exempt.) Penalties levied can be heavy – in the event that you are penalized, you do have the option to try to settle. Regulators may be willing to work with you, especially if it is your first violation and you are not a willful violator.
Kerry Gray, Urban Forest & Natural Resource Planning Coordinator: Sidewalk Snow Removal
In the Main Street Business Improvement Zone, snow removal is tasked to Heritage Lawn Care. During a snow event, Heritage generally works to clear the most heavily trafficked areas first. However the ultimate responsibility for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalk from door to curb is on the business owner.
Trees in the downtown area already deal with a lot of external stressors, and salt and ice melter may be a leading cause of tree death. Following good snow removal practices can prevent damage to trees in the downtown area. Always use a shovel first to remove as much snow and ice as possible. Use an ice melter instead of rock salt and only apply when necessary. Take extra care to only use as much as needed – do not overapply. After the ice has melted there should be no remaining ice melter left on the sidewalk. Also read the label and pay attention to the temperature, as ice melter will not work at all below certain temperatures.
Kaia Hayes – U of M Ice Carving Team Competition and Events Manager: Ice Carving Extravaganza
This annual 3 day carving event will take place January 22-24. It is the primary fundraising event for the team, and allows the team to showcase their skills and interact with the public. It is also a great way for businesses to promote themselves – ice carvers will work with you to plan a sculpture that will then be carved outside of your location. The fee for a sculpture is $140, which can be paid with cash or a check to the MSAA. The Ice Carving Team asks that all requests for sculptures be submitted by Friday, January 15th, however they will work to accommodate requests submitted after that date.
Phase 1 of the William and Fourth parking structure is now complete: the new stairwell is open for public use. Phase 2 has begun, in which the larger, high speed elevator will be installed.
Registration for the annual Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K is now open. For more information or to register go to www.runshamrocks.com
Restaurant Week is January 17-22. New this year include a partnership with Food Gatherers and a new website that allows for users to easily sort restaurants based on 2 for 1 pricing, those that serve lunch, and those with vegetarian and vegan options. www.annarborrestaurantweek.com
Next MSAA meeting is the Annual Membership Meeting, and will be held at 8am, February 4th, in the lower level of Shinola at 301 S. Main.