Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association President & CEO Justin Winslow today announced that a $2.5 million grant received from the Michigan Department of Treasury will continue to support restaurant and lodging industry workerswho were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are thankful to Governor Whitmer and the Michigan legislators for their support of the state’s hospitality workers,” Winslow said.“This important funding will make a difference for thousands of Michigan’s hospitality workers who have been struggling to survive after losing full-time work and high-paying jobs because of the pandemic. More than half of the 600,000 hospitality workers in Michigan temporarily lost their jobs and too many restaurants across the state were unable to reopen after the shutdown.
Payments of up to $500 will be provided to approved applicantsuntil resources are fully depleted. Applicants must be Michigan residents and demonstrate proof of employment in the hospitality industry on March 10, when Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan, as well as proof of furlough or job loss in the wake of that date.
“The pandemic has been very hard on all of our employees and business,” said Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland, who sponsored Public Act 123 of 2020 authorizing use of available federal CARES Act funding to help Michigan families, workers and schools affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, including $2.5M in assistance to hospitality workers who may not be eligible for full unemployment benefits. “The money for the employee relief fund is going to help these employees make it through until our economy is fully reopened.”
The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund was initially launched in April in response to devastation to the industry caused by the statewide shutdown and has already supplied375,000 in payments to employees. The $2.5 million grant received by the state Treasury Department will continue to support fund resources.
All eligible hospitality employees in Michigan should apply for assistance online from Sept. 22 until Oct. 1 at mrlaef.org/relief-fund.Applications will be processed until all available funds are disbursed.