$500 grants available for dismissed restaurant workers

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Paul Boutros

Paul Boutros, owner of East Side Pockets, a small restaurant near Brown University, looks out onto an empty street since students were sent home and dining in restaurants prohibited. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(NEWS10) — Starting Thursday, the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund will be accepting applications for one-time payments, on a first-come-first-served basis, to restaurant employees who meet eligibility criteria.

Under “non-essential business” closures in states like New York, restaurants kitchens remain open while their dining rooms close. This means that the industry’s massive customer-facing labor force—which relies on inconsistent tips to get by—has been largely fired, furloughed, laid-off, or experienced a significant reduction in hours and wages.

You can apply for aid through the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund online if you meet the following requirements:

  • Part- or full-time work in the industry for at least 90 days in the past year
  • Had a primary source of income in the restaurant industry for the last year
  • Experienced lowered wages or job loss on or after March 10
  • Live in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or an overseas military base
  • Of legal age in your state or territory

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will review and verify applications, and distribute money to eligible applicants as soon as possible, provided funds are still available.

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