Service workers in NYC are especially susceptible not only to sickness from COVID-19, but the economic effects that it leaves in its wake.
NYC bars and restaurants will be closed to the public effective at 8 PM on Monday, March 16. Bars and restaurants can continue to offer food and alcohol delivery and pick-up, but thousands of New Yorkers in the service industry will become unemployed.
This means that thousands will struggle to make rent, submit student loan payments, and pay health insurance premiums and utility bills. Tens of thousands may struggle to pay for necessities like food, transport, and pharmaceuticals, not to mention hospital stays.
Until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained in the United States, it is possible that bars and restaurants will remain shuttered. In a crisis like this, which has the potential to last many weeks, it is paramount that we protect those most susceptible not only to the virus itself, but to the pernicious economic disruptions that are rippling through our city neighborhoods. If you are lucky enough to remain employed, we ask you to make a small donation towards those many thousands who are not.
Many restaurant workers have little to no savings.
Many cannot go without their weekly paycheck.
Many do not have health insurance.
Many are immigrants.
We're asking you to donate to an emergency fund that would provide financial aid to restaurant workers in NYC who have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Please send applications for the emergency relief fund to
While the fundraiser is still getting started we will be investigating a methodology for distributing money, likely in the form of weekly stipends, with an emphasis on the most at-risk workers.
I am the FOH manager of Petra Bar and Restaurant in Brooklyn, and many of my staff find themselves in the situation outlined above. It's been immensely reassuring to witness the degree to which this crisis has brought the best out in people in terms of mutual aid, strengthening community, and emphasizing the need for organization among service workers to prepare for and to endure disasters such as this pandemic; this fundraiser is an extension of that spirit.
Thank you very much, and stay healthy.
- Bzz Bzz