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Economics in Brief: Pittsburgh Will Launch Guaranteed Income Program

Also: DoorDash sues and is sued, and more.

Pittsburgh is setting aside $2.5 million for a guaranteed income pilot program. (Photo by Matthew Paulson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Pittsburgh Will Launch Guaranteed Income Program

Pittsburgh is setting aside $2.5 million in federal stimulus money for a guaranteed income pilot program focusing on Black women, WESA FM reports.

For two years, nonprofit OnePGH will allocate $500 a month to 200 low-income households, with an “emphasis” on households led by Black women, though others can qualify. Beneficiaries will be selected randomly.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is part of the Mayors for Guaranteed Income coalition, which also includes Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. Last year, Kenney told WESA that sending one-time COVID-19 relief payments to low-income households had proved the power of cash assistance.

“We were able to make an immediate impact on their lives,” Kenney told the station. “We have seen that when given the flexibility to make their own decisions about how to spend cash relief, folks are making decisions based on what was most urgent for their families — everything from rent, utilities to groceries and gas.”

Pittsburgh Councilmember Deborah Gross voted against the city setting aside this money (as well as $90 million in stimulus funds going to other projects), arguing that the city was allocating funds too quickly and without enough public input.

DoorDash Sues NYC Over Customer Data Law

DoorDash has sued the city of New York over a law that requires delivery companies to share customer data with restaurants, the AP reports.

The city passed a law in July that allows restaurants to request data on customers who order through DoorDash and other delivery companies. Restaurants say this law is needed so that they can market directly to customers, and so that they won’t lose access to their customers if they leave a delivery platform. DoorDash said the rule was “a shocking and invasive intrusion of consumers’ privacy,” conveniently omitting the amount of data DoorDash collects on its users and drivers.

The AP reports that DoorDash is also suing the city, and San Francisco, over a separate bill that caps the fees delivery companies can charge to restaurants, and is defending itself against a lawsuit by the city of Chicago over deceptive business practices.

Facebook Starts Debt Collection Business Because Of Course It Does

Facebook already is where people go to share baby pictures, plan events, sell stuff, spread misinformation, video chat with family, play online games, and tune into political meetings — why not make it the place to collect on invoices as well? Per Mashable, Facebook has announced a new feature for businesses: The social media giant will buy their invoices and take over on collecting from those who owe. The sell for business owners is that Facebook will pay invoices faster than their customers. Facebook’s fee: 1%.

The feature is only available to for-profit companies that are “certified as majority-owned, operated and controlled by racial or ethnic minorities, women, U.S. military veterans, LGBTQ+ people or individuals with disabilities,” and a company’s clients must be corporations or governments.

Mashable points out that, probably coincidentally, a new law going into effect Nov. 30, 2021 allows debt collectors to contact debtors on social media.

This article is part of The Bottom Line, a series exploring scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. Click here to subscribe to our Bottom Line newsletter.

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Tags: new york citysmall businesspittsburghfooduniversal basic incomefacebook

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