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Philz Coffee Has Massive Layoffs Due to COVID-19

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Philz Coffee is an SF institution. I remember when there was just a single location on 24th St. and it felt like a loungy college coffeeshop. Since then Philz has grown massively. They’ve raised $75 million in funding, ditched the bohemian vibes (other than the original location), and currently has 59 locations throughout California, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, and DC. But that might all be about to change.

This morning I was sent an email by one of the 181 people Philz Coffee laid off yesterday (Friday 7/10) via an unsigned email titled “Difficult News”. According to the email, the impact of COVID-19 is what led Philz to layoff so many folks. That said, our  tipster was shocked to be let go so unceremoniously after working at Philz for nearly a decade and says, “While Philz has reopened its locations on a limited pick-up only model, employees with significant risk factors such as disabilities or caring for a weak relative remained on furlough and these are the people being unceremoniously dropped.”

To Philz’ credit, when the pandemic hit, they continued to pay for scheduled shifts, they furloughed people instead of doing immediate layoffs, and continued paying for 100% of benefits for the first month of furloughs, according to the email they sent out. Philz also goes on to offer potential work for folks whose situation may have changed. That said, I can certainly see why someone who had given so many years of their life to a company would be bummed out by the news.

Unfortunately, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this in the coming months and things are going to get incredibly dire if the federal government doesn’t continue to dole out extra unemployment money. Not only will people be losing their jobs, there won’t be a social safety net to take care of them because the GOP would rather give tax cuts to corporations and billionaires than take care of its citizens.

The entirety of the email from Philz is below:

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Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.