This emergency fund is being established as an aid for workers in the hospitality industry, particularly the restaurant sector, in Boston, MA and surrounding communities who have seen a direct financial impact as a result of the current COVID-19 health crisis.
UPDATE: With the current proclamation by the office of Governor Baker, restaurants will be required to close to all dine-in options and will only be allowed to offer carryout and delivery. Many restaurants are cutting staff as a result of this, or outright closing. This fund is needed by the community now more than ever.
If, as a broader community of workers and customers, we can pull together this resource, it could help alleviate pressure on restaurant owners currently wrestling with the difficult decision of remaining opening and trying to encourage guests to dine out (or switch to take out), or closing for the foreseeable future until this crisis has passed us. It would also put workers at ease in terms of taking care of themselves and their families as a decent number have already had to use their sick time due to cold and flu season over the past three months for themselves or their children. Similar measures are already being taken in other parts of the country where this is hitting harder such as Seattle, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, and I truly believe that working to be in service of the greater community is what hospitality is all about. So that's where you, the person reading this, comes in. If you've dined out at any of the incredible restaurants that populate the greater Boston area and had a memorable meal, if you've chosen a local spot as your favorite place you return to again and again, if you've established relationships with staff members over years of continued patronage and service, we need you now more than ever to keep this spirit of hospitality alive. Any little bit helps us all, and the more the message is shared across the community, the more those small donations can add up to something that will help sustain this industry in the weeks ahead.
With restaurants already beginning to shut their doors for "the foreseeable future" the urgency to establish this fund is significant. Layoffs leading to unemployment claims can help workers make 50% of anticipated income through the unemployment insurance program, but while some money is better than no money, for most it won't be sufficient. It is for this reason we are establishing the Emergency Fund. Your donations can help safeguard industry worker's ability to pay rent, buy groceries, and ensure they keep up with necessary medications and treatments (or not need to choose between the three!). So we implore you to please donate, even if it's as little as $1. With what we've seen from the importance of grassroots fundraising in the current campaign cycle, we already know that every little bit helps and adds up to something significant.
Emergency Funds can be requested by any member of the greater Boston area hospitality industry facing direct and demonstrable financial hardship as a result of the current COVID-19 health crisis. Funds are limited to the amount of money we are actively able to raise in this campaign, so please share this campaign page with your friends, family and your broader social networks (personal, media or otherwise). This fund is not meant to act as a replacement for income, it is meant to be a last resort for those with demonstrable need in our industry. We actively encourage you to pursue other areas of income whether it be side hustles, gigs or support from within your own family/friends network. With that being said, if you do find yourself in need, please don't hesitate to ask.
Other Industry and worker funds to apply to (And Support):
One Fair Wage - One Fair Wage has set up a nationwide emergency fund for tipped and service workers being affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program - put together by the USBG and applies to all members of the bartending segment of the industry. They just received a grant from Jameson to assist in providing emergency funding. They are receiving a number of applications so be patient.
Restaurant Workers Community Fund - They are actively developing a plan to assist restaurant workers located in the states in which they operate (this includes MA!). They are working on building their own fund and have a list of resources for restaurant workers that they are actively updating
Behind You! Inc. - An organization based in Salem, MA. They are actively building an emergency fund for restaurant workers in the Salem, Beverly, Lynn, Peabody, Marblehead and Swampscott. If you are from those communities please reach out to them!
Restaurant Strong Fund - The Greg Hill Foundation has teamed up with Samuel Adams Brewery to set up this relief fund for members of the restaurant industry in MA who have been put out of work by the spread of the virus.
Lovin' Spoonfulls - They have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds that will be distributed among their network of restaurants to assist during the crisis.
Boston Artist Relief Fund - Set up by the City of Boston to aid artists during the crisis. If you are an artist who supplements your income with work in the hospitality industry you qualify!!
MA Unemployment Insurance - MA government website for applying for unemployment insurance. Will cover up to 50% of your anticipated income.
To Apply for Financial Assistance Please Fill Out Our Financial Assistance Form Here
Stage 2 of the #AllInThisTogether Project:
We are actively recruiting community members to band together and show up for the members of their community in need. To this end, we are creating a community assistance network. As the true severity of this crisis hits Boston, the ripple effect is being seen across communities. Small businesses are closing, putting people out of work, all members of the public are being encouraged to remain at home as much as possible, vulnerable populations most of all, parents are finding themselves needing increased childcare options with sudden and sometimes indefinite school closures. It is time for us to show the world what kind of community Boston is, which means it is time for us to band together and show up for each other, wherever and whenever it is needed.
To Offer Your Own Services To The Assistance Network, Please Fill Out This Form
Please check back as we are actively brainstorming to find further solutions for this crisis in our industry.
- Mary Ann King
- Joshua Paris
- Desiree Ferreras
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