Coronavirus Covid-19: Former restaurant worker launches #helpforhospo fund to help industry

They were back at work this week providing for those in need of a takeaway meal or caffeine fix but the financial struggle has not ended for hospitality workers.

Reduced hours, staff shortages, and the added stress of managing Covid protocols mean it’s not yet business as usual for the industry.

Former hospitality worker Blair Duncan has watched the tight-knit industry he loves become decimated through Covid restrictions and wanted to do something to help.

He has put up $10,000 of his own money and started the #Helpforhospo fund to help cafe, takeaway and restaurant workers who are struggling.

Blair Duncan is today’s Lockdown Hero.

“Level 3 is better than level 4 but for many in the industry their business is dying just a bit more slowly,” Duncan said.

“They are using savings and nest eggs to get through and are on their bare bones – it’s so hard and you can hear it in their voices.”

Duncan is the managing director of Red+White Cellar and supplies wine to many in the hospitality industry.

His business hasn’t been as affected by Covid because he is still able to supply to supermarkets.

“We have been doing okay and it made me very aware of the unevenness of the economy during Covid.

“You have people who are losing a business they have had for 20 years just because they have contact with customers.”

Duncan only created the fund about a week ago but had drummed up support within the industry and had grown it from $10,000 to $100,000.

“I just really wanted to help and in talking to others, I found others did too. We’ve been able to pull this together over the last few days, despite the complexity of developing fair and secure processes to distribute money.”

The easy-to-use website gives options on donating or receiving help. If help was needed money is deposited straight into the recipient’s bank account after a short approval process.

Duncan was encouraging other businesses which had continued to trade during Covid to help those who couldn’t.

He said anyone who dined out, grabbed a coffee or fast food had a bond with the hospitality industry.

“These are people in the service industry who are always giving and serving people and now it’s time we can give back to them.

The process is designed to be discrete and direct, applications will be taken online and processed by a small and confidential disbursement committee.

Payments of $100 will be made to applicants, with a view to helping as many as possible. In certain cases, at the discretion of the disbursement committee, further support may be given.

“We know a $100 payment isn’t going to solve everything but it might mean groceries or paying a data bill so people can stay connected.”

To apply for help or donate click here.

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