Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Thursday two programs that support the restaurant industry.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled two support initiatives for the restaurant industry in a statement Thursday last week. The mayor introduced Chi Serves, a job resource and education portal for hospitality industry employees who lost their jobs during the pandemic, along with a federally funded $ 10 million grant. For sector employees who lost their jobs; Chi Serves program, which serves in many ways such as career counselling, job applications and training, will be opened in 4 different languages. In the Chicago Hospitality Grant Program, whose applications will begin on November 16, eligible businesses will be able to receive a maximum of $ 10,000 grant.
The terms of the Chicago Hospitality Grant Program, financed by the CARES Act, defines grant eligibility as a bar or restaurant “with annual revenue of under $3 million, and must have experienced economic distress and loss due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020 totalling at least 25 per cent of annual net revenue.” The program also disqualifies regional or national chains with more than two locations, and adult entertainment facilities (strip clubs). The city will announce more details on the application process “in the coming days” according to a news release.
The Chicago area’s industry has seen the largest employment decline of any sector in the past year, with a loss of 128,700 jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August. Hospitality workers account for a third of all job losses nationally, despite comprising just 11 per cent of the U.S. workforce.