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Financial Relief Resources for Restaurant Owners & Employees During COVID-19

April 27, 2020

During this difficult time, there are a wealth of financial relief resources for the restaurant industry. Not only are new resources being created, current resources are constantly being updated. With so many options available in this ever-changing landscape, which ones can best serve you? Which are national? Which ones offer grants versus loans?

Need help finding restaurant relief funds and resources? Smart Foodservice has compiled a list to help you navigate some available options. 

COVID-19 Restaurant Relief

As COVID-19 continues to spread through communities, restaurants are becoming increasingly affected by ongoing closures. To help restaurant owners and food service workers during this unprecedented time, federal and community-based organizations have developed a variety of funding options. 

We are all becoming more familiar with the federal CARES Act, which provides loans to small businesses. There are also a wealth of resources geared specifically toward the unique hardships of restaurant workers. 

4 National COVID-19 Resources for Restaurant Owners & Employees

1. Dining Bond is a restaurant industry collective initiated by hospitality publicists and consultants, Helen Patrikis and Steven Hall, to help get funds to restaurants right now. Dining Bond allows customers to purchase vouchers and/or gift cards at a reduced face value rate to be redeemed, at full face value, on a later date. Any restaurant across the globe can participate in the collective. 

2. The James Beard Foundation Relief Fund will be offering small grants to independently owned food and beverage establishments across the nation. The grants will be funded through corporate, personal, and foundation donations.

3. Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation approved allocating COVID-19 emergency relief funds for both restaurant owners and employees. It allocated:

  • 25 percent of funds towards interest free loan for restaurants
  • 25 percent of funds for nonprofits serving restaurant workers
  • 50 percent of funds for direct relief for restaurant workers

4. Spill the Dish is a national database of available funding options for restaurant owners and service industry workers. Simply search your city and state to learn about financial options in your specific area.

4 National COVID-19 Resources for Food Service Workers

1. CORE Gives is dedicated to providing support to the children of hospitality workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Apply here for financial assistance. 

2. One Fair Wage’s goal is to serve sub-minimum wage employees who rely on tips to meet basic costs of living. Based exclusively on donations, One Fair Wage is working toward offering cash assistance to tipped restaurant workers, personal service workers, and delivery drivers affected by COVID-19.

3. Rent Assistance has compiled a list of organizations and rental assistance resources to help restaurant workers pay rent.

4. The USBG Foundation is currently raising funds to boost their Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. This program provides grants to bartenders who have experienced economic hardship due to a catastrophic event. 

5 West Coast COVID-19 Resources

Looking for relief funds specific to the West Coast? Here are several options in  Washington, Oregon, and California:

1. Big Table collects donations for service industry workers, providing swift crisis care for those in need. This nonprofit works through a personal referral network and serves Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, and San Diego, CA.

2. Helping workers in Seattle, WA, the Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund (SHEF) is a team fundraiser organized through GoFundMe. SHEF has partnered with Wellspring Family Services, allowing restaurant workers to easily apply for financial help.

3. The Portland Virtual Tip Jar, in Portland, OR, allows the community to tip out-of-work service industry workers. Simply fill out their online form to get added to the list.

4. Family Meal is a nonprofit dedicated to providing financial help to hospitality and agricultural workers experiencing a medical debt crisis in Portland, OR.

5. The California Restaurant Association Foundation helps hospitality workers cover basic living expenses, through their new Restaurants Care program.

Smart Foodservice: Supporting Our Community

 

As a supporter of our vibrant restaurant community, our primary goal is to help our partners in any way we can. We will continue to provide crucial information for our industry during this time, as well as ensure you receive the highest-quality customer service.

We have developed the following guidelines to ensure the best possible safety of our customers and associates during the Coronavirus crisis. Learn more. 

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