While hospitality workers across the country continue to face financial hardships caused by COVID-19, local communities and organizations are working hard to support these workers and their families to get them through this difficult time. One such organization is the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation (LHF). They announced on Thursday, April 16, that they have created the South Louisiana Bar Owner Relief Fund, which will serve as a valuable resource for hospitality workers in the state. In response to the widespread closures of bars and restaurants, the fund intends to support small businesses, especially bars in South Louisiana, with financial resources throughout the duration of the pandemic.
"These businesses are mandated by law to remain closed, while at the same time, they are falling through the cracks of the stimulus program," said Jennifer Kelley, Executive Director of the LHF. "We want to ensure that, through this unique time, the watering holes of Louisiana's 'Main St. America' are able to sustain themselves and re-open when allowed."
The fund received its first big donation from Crescent Crown Distributing (CCD), who contributed a generous $200,000. In a statement, the EVP general manager of CCD Louisiana, Chris Bourg, said, "Southern Louisiana has taken a huge hit, with all bars essentially shut down and unable to generate much-needed revenue. We felt it was our duty to step up and do our part toward the relief fund."
"Let's help this important economic engine get the sights, sounds, spirit, and soul of Southern Louisiana back on track," continued Bourg."We extend a challenge to all industry members who benefit from and proudly serve the bar-owners of Southern Louisiana to step up and help support the fund."
The LHF is currently accepting donations and will open applications for hospitality workers who wish to receive resources from the fund on Thursday, April 23, at 9 a.m. CST. More information about the fund and applications can be found at louisianahospitalityfoundation.org/barownerfund.