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Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

by Jessie Donofrio on Mar 20, 2020 in Culture
 
Right now the hospitality industry is—to put it lightly—struggling. We created a resource directory for anyone working in the industry that may be in need of support/relief right now. Reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you have any other links/resources to share. We will make sure to keep this piece updated as the landscape is constantly changing. 

Unemployment Benefits

If you’ve lost time at work or have been laid off, you are eligible for immediate unemployment benefits. Here are the requirements outlined by the state of PA:
· Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
· Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
· You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
· You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts

Apply directly here.

 
Free Meals
Nok Suntaranon of Kalaya has turned her authentic Thai kitchen into a beacon of hope for service workers, serving “family meal” to industry folks each day from 3 PM-5 PM as well as offering free produce. She has been receiving food donations from area restaurants such as Ralph’s Restaurant and Mike’s BBQ to keep her operation afloat. Spotburgers in Brewerytown is also doing it

Food Access
If you’re out of work without pay, you qualify to receive food from the federal and state governments. Here is a list of Food Banks and Pantries in the state of PA that you can access. You can also apply for SNAP and/or WIC benefits. Additionally, if you have a child that is in need of meals because their school is closed, they can pick up food at any of the locations on this map.

Relief Funds
Add your name and info to the Philly Virtual Tip Jar, a Google Doc organized by Tria Taproom bartender Michelle Cudia, as a way for service industry workers to receive immediate assistance through Paypal and Venmo. Apply for donations from the Philly Restaurant Server Relief Fund by filling out this survey. You can also apply for assistance from the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United here, who also has a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, which if you’re a bartender you can apply to here. There are also nationwide relief efforts underway which we’ve provided the application links for: Another Round Another Rally, James Beard Relief Fund and One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
 
Rent Forgiveness
As of Monday, March 16 the Philadelphia Municipal Courts have decided they will not execute evictions for two weeks as a response to COVID-19. However, there is nothing that has been enacted statewide or federally to halt rent payments. There is a petition that you can sign, here, asking for Governor Wolf to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on evictions throughout the state. If you need help paying you rent you can contact the United Way by dialing 211 or going to 211.org.
 
Utilities
For the time being, utility companies will not halt water, gas, power, phone or internet services due to lack of payment. PECO announced it is suspending late payment fees until at least May 1.
 
Applying for a Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters. Here’s a link to apply and another link with a useful how to video on the application process.
 
Taxes
The IRS has officially extended the tax deadline to July 15, which will give service industry workers extra time to file and make payments without interest or any penalty.
 
Workers Compensation
If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 on the job, you might be eligible for workers compensation benefits. You can file for a “occupational disease” or “disease as injury” claim. Apply here.
 
Student Loans
If you’ve lost your job/had your hours cut due to COVID-19, you can defer payment of your student loans. For now, student loan interest is waived, which means your principal will not gain interest at this time.
 

Head to the PA Health Department’s website for the most up to date info on the virus. There’s also a crowdsourced COVID-19 Guide for anyone living in the city of Philadelphia, which includes resources for anyone experiencing domestic violence, links to fundraisers, legal info and more. 
 

Photo by Drink Philly

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