There’s no question that the hospitality industry in New Jersey has taken a huge hit from the coronavirus pandemic, as many bars have been forced to close entirely. Heartbreaking stories like McLoone’s restaurant group being forced to lay off 1,000 workers at their 11 restaurants are a gut punch and many of our readers have asked what they can do to support those most impacted during these trying times.
Along the Gold Coast, Jersey City Upfront has compiled a great running list of fundraisers for out-of-work restaurant employees in Jersey City. From a government perspective, the city recently set up a new page this week at jcnj.org/openforbusiness where restaurants can register in a directory that lets locals know who is serving take-out and/or delivery to the community.
In Hoboken, the city has partnered with a newly-created organization called Help Main Street to assist local stores and restaurants. The NYC-based group’s website provides a central resource for businesses that are selling gift cards while COVID-19 restrictions are in effect. Any merchant in the country with a gift card program in place can submit their details to the group and get listed on their site, which does not collect any fees for use of the service.
Several Hudson county eateries have helped give back to communities they serve as well, with Ani Ramen distributing free family meals out of their three outposts last Thursday.
Local coffee roasters ModCup have started distributing their cold brew concentrate to ER workers, Jersey City’s police and fire departments, and the city’s command center, but a recent post on their Instagram notes that they have run out of growlers for delivery. Any person or business willing to donate growlers would be appreciated and they can be dropped off outside ModCup’s 25 Senate Place location.
Down the shore, Neptune-based Fulfill Food Bank is partnering with local restaurants to distribute food to people in need and paying $5 stipend per meal to the eateries to help keep their businesses afloat. A few feel-good stories have emerged in that region like a piece from NJ Advance Media about Federico’s Pizza in Belmar, where owners Bryan and Michael Morin took out a $50,000 line of credit to pay their employees for the next two months regardless of what happens with COVID-19 restrictions. They remain open for take-out and delivery orders.
Jersey Digs will be dedicating time each day on our Instagram account to spread messages about resources, fundraisers, new hours, or other developments that the hospitality industry would like to share during these trying times. Send us a DM and we’ll feature you in our stories!
We’ve started a mega-thread with updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey.