Many locals have set up fundraisers to help restaurant industry workers in the Richmond area who are out of work due to business closures.
Some restaurants closed before the March 17 state ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people, which has effectively shut down the dine-in business for restaurants across Virginia. Some restaurants closed their dining rooms after the ban, option to close their restaurants entirely or shift to a takeout model.
Regardless, across the region, thousands of restaurant workers are out of work or working on fewer hours.
Here are some of the organizations working to offer financial assisant to these workers.
The Holli Fund, which offers financial grants to food and beverage employees experiencing economic crisis through injury, illness, or loss of wages due to coronavirus restrictions and other emergencies. The Holli Fund honors the late Hollister Lindley, a local food writer who lost her battle with ALS in 2017.
Affected industry personnel apply for grants through the website, thehollifund.org, a Richmond nonprofit that's awaiting its confirmation from the IRS to be listed as a 501(c). Currently, grants provide $750 for things like rent, utilities, car repairs and other bills. Donations can be made to The Holli Fund website anytime.
Other Richmonders are helping, too. Dustin Artz, co-founder of Richmond advertising agency Familiar Creatures, created “a campaign to help local restaurants called ‘Keep Calm and Nom Nom,’ ” a website encouraging diners to buy gift cards to local restaurants to use later. The site includes links and details on how people can purchase the gift cards.
“Last Friday afternoon, we had the epiphany and sinking feeling that most of these places might not be able to hang on until July or August. So we decided to do what we do for a living: make an advertising campaign that brings attention and helps businesses,” Artz said. “It’s the least we can do.”
Go Fund Me Pages for various Richmond restaurant workers:
Bonfire fundraisers that support the restaurant community during the coronavirus.