Tuesday, May 05, 2020 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Coronavirus pandemic drastically affected service sector jobs in Charleston County and South Carolina. Workers in industries such as restaurants, hotels, childcare services, retail trade and transportation services have taken a hard hit. Loss of incomes impact the ability to provide necessities such as food, medicine, shelter, and housing.

A recent Pew Research Center analysis of government data found nearly 1 in 4 U.S. workers – 38.1 million out of 157.5 million – were employed in industries most likely to feel an immediate impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. Among the most vulnerable are workers in retail trade (10 percent of all workers), food services, and drinking places (6 percent). In total, these two industries employ nearly 26 million Americans.

Though the outlook has been dire, there is good news to share. Our Workforce Development Team compiled a list of foundations offering grant assistance to restaurant workers as well as gig, and low-earning contract workers. Check the information below to see what grants you qualify for and how you can apply.

Foundations & funding programs offering grants:

Samuel Adams Restaurant Strong Fund
This fund offers grant assistance for full-time restaurant employees. 30 hours, for purposes of this grant, is full-time. Employees working at multiple restaurants for time that equals to 30 hours per week qualify.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
Grants provided for bartenders, their spouses, and their children.

Door Dash COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program
Up to two weeks of financial assistance for Door Dash employees.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation
RWCF’s Board of Directors has approved directing funds raised in the following ways: 50% for direct crisis relief to individual restaurant workers; 25% for nonprofit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis; and 25% for zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running.

The Workers Fund (The Workers Lab)
Provides funds for gig and low-earning contract workers who do not qualify for employer-based benefits.

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
Financial help for restaurant and service workers.

If you would like more information, assistance in finding resources, tips on how to get the job hunting process started or more, please reach out to us at CCPL by email, chat, or text. You may also call us at 843-805-6930, leave a voice message, and a library staff member will return your call.  Remember, you are not alone.