INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association announced Thursday it had granted relief checks to 245 Hoosier hospitality workers who are still reeling in the economic fallout by the COVID-19 pandemic.
InRLA created the 'Hospitality Relief Fund' in April to gather emergency funding for employees of the hospitality industry, which has arguably been the hardest hit profession since the start of the pandemic.
"The hospitality industry is the cornerstone of every community, and Indiana employs more than 350,000 Hoosiers," InRLA stated. "When the COVID-19 crisis left the hospitality industry in a catastrophic state, Hoosiers came together to support those who have supported us and the communities we call home for so long."
The organization has awarded a total of $122,500 in one-time $500 checks. That money has and will help the hardest hit Hoosier hospitality workers secure basic living needs such as food, gas, utilities, and rent.
Within a few days after first launching their website, InRLA received more than 5,000 applications. To date, the organization has been able to process 436 of those applications to send out the checks.
Between the support of the community, sponsorships from industry and state partners, and individual donations, the group has raised a total of $140,416 altogether. According to InRLA, after the initial expense of launching their IHRF website, 100% of the donations the Relief Fund received was given out on an application by application basis.
"InRLA continues to process applications and award grants with the remaining balance but asks for additional support to help aid the thousands of applications that have yet to be granted," Elise Shrock, InRLA Director of Operations, said. "It is our hope that Indiana can show that we are #InThisTogether and will continue to support our community. We appreciate your consideration of any contribution and resources you can provide to help sustain Indiana's incredible hospitality industry."
Tammie Taylor worked for a hospitality management company in northwest Indiana and was one of the 245 grant recipients.
"Unfortunately, I was one of many people in our industry to get laid off, and I am very fortunate that I was a recipient of the grant. I have been in the industry for over 30 years and can say I never saw something like this impacting our industry," Taylor said.