Tri-City hospitality employees thrown out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis can now apply for a one-time $500 grant.
The Canadian Hospitality Relief Fund is meant to help with basic necessities like grocery bills, rent or transportation. Workers must be over 18-years-old to apply and meet the following eligibility criteria:
- have worked in the hospitality industry, including food delivery workers, for at least 90 days in the past year;
- have their primary source of income in the restaurant or lodging industry;
- have experienced a decrease in wages or loss of job on or after March 10, 2020;
- and have the ability to accept electronic transfer payments (ie. Interac e-transfers).
The hospitality industry has taken a massive hit as restaurants have scaled back or shut down their operations.
As early as April 2, a national restaurants industry organization known as Restaurants Canada found that roughly 121,500 workers had lost their jobs in British Columbia. In its survey, the group found four out of five restaurants had laid off workers in those first few weeks of the pandemic.
Here in the Tri-Cities, even restaurant chains like Earls in Port Coquitlam have laid off 40 to 60% of their staff in an effort to remain a viable business.
The fund, led by leading local chefs like Vikram Vij and backed by such food industry brands like Uber Eats, Garland and Welbilt Canada, is still looking for backers and will continue to hand out grants until it runs dry.
"$500 grants are a welcome support for hospitality workers," said Vij in a statement. "These additional funds will be an immense help for front-of-house and back-of-house staff, especially those who work in minimum-wage, entry-level positions like international and local students."
Workers impacted by COVID-19 can go to www.chwrf.ca to submit an application.