How the Federal Stimulus Package and Other Aid Can Provide Immediate Financial Relief for Your Restaurant Employees

Financial relief for restaurant employees

The approval of the stimulus package brings hope to restaurant employees who have been struggling with the recent closure of restaurants nationwide. This $2.2 trillion virus aid plan expands unemployment benefits and extends aid to those who are financially affected by the coronavirus. These benefits are set to begin within the next few weeks and may impact your operational decision making.

The details of the stimulus plan as it pertains to your employees, as well as other national and local relief efforts for the seven states most impacted by COVID-19, is listed below and can provide your employees the guidance they need to support themselves and their families during this challenging time.

What the bill provides for restaurant employees

Federal One-Time Payments

Your restaurant employees will benefit from a provision in the economic rescue bill that would provide one-time direct payments of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

Continual Payment While Forced to Stay Home

If your restaurant was forced to close, your business is eligible to receive a grant that would enable you to retain your employees on payroll and defer paying the Social Security Payroll Tax. This would provide your restaurant employees 50% of their paycheck up to $10,000 and job security when they return.

Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

Furloughed employees who apply and have been approved for unemployment will be able to receive an additional $600 per week on top of the amount their state provides for unemployment for four months. Your employees can apply through their state employment office’s website. Direct your employees to visit this website, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, to find information per state.

National relief funds for restaurant and delivery workers

National relief funds were created to support all workers who have been furloughed or laid off during this time. The listing below targets restaurant employees specifically who have struggled through mandated restaurant closures and need financial assistance. Your employees can review this listing and apply on the listed fund’s website.

Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation – Direct funds to restaurant employees based on their short-term needs.

One Fair Wage – Immediate cash assistance to tipped restaurant workers, delivery drivers, personal service workers, and others affected by coronavirus and the economic decline.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – Financial assistance to documented and undocumented restaurant workers who have lost their jobs during this pandemic.

USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program – Financial assistance to bartenders or children of bartenders.

Another Round, Another Rally Fund – $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or who have a reduction in hours due to the pandemic.

NRA Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – Grants to restaurant employees who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment.

The top seven most affected states’ relief funds and resources

State and local relief funds have been created throughout various states and by both local organizations and individuals. Below is a brief listing of these resources for the seven states most effected by COVID-19. The state level funds are listed below but view individual GoFundMe pages within your area that can provide additional financial assistance for your employees.

#1 New York

WNY Hospitality Relief Fund – Grants for qualifying restaurant employees who are struggling financially.

Individually Organized Relief Funds for NYC Restaurant Workers – A listing of GoFundMe pages for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens restaurants.

NY State Paid Safe and Sick Leave – Information for employees on receiving up to 40 hours of pay if they have worked more than 80 hours in NYC in a year.

Service Workers Coalition – Financial assistance to employees who are home sick or quarantined due to contracting COVID-19.

Restaurant Workers Relief Program – To-go dinners for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who have had a reduction in hours/pay. These dinners are hosted in Brooklyn.

#2 New Jersey

The Beverage and Food Employee Crisis Support Fund – Financial support provided for all restaurant employees who have been directly affected by this pandemic.

NJ Earned Sick Leave – Information on earned sick leave that can be used to when employees need to care for themselves or sick family members or when an employee’s workplace or his/her child’s daycare has been closed due to federal or state mandates.

#3 California

COVID-19 Unemployment and Paid Family Leave – Information on unemployment and paid family leave to workers who have or have been exposed to the Coronavirus.

Disability Insurance (DI) Claim – Guidelines on short-term disability if an employee was exposed to COVID-19 and a medical professional documents that the employee cannot work.

Restaurants Care – A one-time grant to restaurant employees who face a financial hardship during this pandemic.

Restaurant Workers Relief Program – To-go dinners for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who have had a reduction in hours/pay. These dinners are hosted in Los Angeles.

#4 Washington

Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund – Funds for employees who have had a drastic reduction or a loss in hours at work.

Restaurant Workers Relief Program – To-go dinners for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who have had a reduction in hours/pay. These dinners are hosted in Seattle.

Big Table – Financial help and additional resources for restaurant employees whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.

#5 Florida

Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – $250 grants to qualifying Miami-Dade County restaurant employees who need financial assistance.

Hands for Hospitality – Financial aid to restaurant employees in South Florida who have been affected by this pandemic.

#6 Michigan

ROC Michigan Lansing Relief Center – A range of assistance to service industry workers.

COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance – Unemployment for employees affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Community Response Fund – Financial support for individuals who have been impacted financially by this pandemic.

#7 Louisiana

LRA Rapid Response Program – Information on unemployment insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic if an employee has been temporarily or permanently relieved of his/her current job.

Restaurant Workers Relief Program – Dinners for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who have had a reduction in hours/pay. These dinners are hosted in New Orleans.

Federal financial relief for restaurant operators

In addition to financial relief for your employees, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has a number of provisions that can provide help to your restaurant business in the form of loans, grants, tax relief and more. For information about the federal relief package read the blog post, The Federal COVID-19 Package: What it Means for Your Business.

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