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The COVID-19 virus outbreak is causing unprecedented disruptions to workers and families, not only from a public health standpoint but also in terms of financial hardships. The hospitality and events industry has been shut-down and many workers are facing an economic crisis on top of the health crisis. With 1 in 10 workers in the Twin Cities as part of the hospitality and events industry, an intentional effort must be made to support these workers in the immediate; and in future recovery efforts for the industry. We are launching a collaborative Twin Cities Hospitality Emergency Relief Effort.

While workers need critical direct financial support, they also need support in navigating complicated and sometimes daunting challenges. These workers will need to navigate applying for unemployment, negotiating payment with landlords and utility companies, prioritizing which bills to pay, handling childcare, etc., all while in a critical situation. While all workers are struggling with these issues, the hospitality and events sector has specific challenges unique to them that exacerbate their access to some of these resources. With this industry being the first to be shut down, they are already two weeks behind.

The hospitality and events industry is a vital and growing industry in our region. It has touchpoints with every part of our economy. The workers in hospitality and events are disproportionately female, and people of color. They need our support.

We need to band together as workers, philanthropy, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to meet this need and rebuild the industry. Please consider making a contribution.