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Coronavirus Update: Restaurant Industry Resources

Susan Post Susan Post Coronavirus Update: Restaurant Industry Resources
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As of 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, Ohio’s bars and restaurants were closed to dine-in patrons. Another action taken to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, dining establishments across the state are trying to adjust to an evolving and unprecedented situation.

While diners can still order carry out and delivery, and drive-thrus remain open, thousands of service industry workers that rely on tips are left with uncertainty. Resources are emerging to help employers and employees through the current situation.

Alcohol Buy-Back

The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control is allowing bars and restaurants to return un-opened high-proof liquor products purchased within the last 30 days. (Note: The message was posted on 3/15/2020.) Establishments can bring the un-opened product back to the Contract Liquor Agency from which they purchased it.

Those who obtained a temporary permit (F2) for an event scheduled between March 12 – April 6, 2020 that is now cancelled can also return unopened product. The situation will be reassessed for additional consideration near the end of the period.

Additional information is available here.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

The United States Bartenders Guild National Charity Foundation is offering emergency assistant for bartenders. Eligibility requirements for the assistance program can be found on the organization’s website. The selection criteria states that grant recipients will receive a lump sum based on the individual’s needs and must provide documentation that the grant was used in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant.

More information can be found here.

Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has a new page outlining updates on Coronoavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Governor Mike DeWine signed an emergency order that has expanded the flexibility in applying for unemployment benefits.

The order will:

  • Waive the one-week waiting period for eligible Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits.
  • Give relief to applicants who are not offered paid leave through their job, as well as those who have been quarantined by a medical professional, their employer, or whose employers must temporarily close. Those who apply for unemployment under these circumstances will be exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.

To learn more about the changes to unemployment benefits, click here. To apply for unemployment benefits, visit unemployment.ohio.gov.

Supporting Local Restaurants

Several Central Ohio restaurants are weighing options when it comes to developing plans for carry-out or delivery. For those looking to continue to support local eateries, check a business’ social media pages or website for updated information on their plans. Many restaurant are adjusting and shortening hours to allow for carry out, while others are closed indefinitely.

More information on DeWine’s order for Ohio Bars & Restaurants to close can be found here.

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