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Up to $500 available to Michigan hospitality workers affected by pandemic

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Restaurant and hotel workers and others in Michigan's hospitality industry who who have faced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic will again have the opportunity to apply for a one-time assistance payment of up to $500 beginning this week.

The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund, supported by the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation, will reopen its application from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Oct. 1. 

Workers in Michigan's hospitality industry who who have faced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic will again have the opportunity to apply for a one-time assistance payment of up to $500 beginning this week.

The relief fund, first launched in April, was awarded last week support from a $2.5 million grant from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Since the spring, the relief fund has provided $375,000 in payments to employees, which include those working for restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos and waterparks.

“This important funding will make a difference for thousands of Michigan’s hospitality workers who have been struggling to survive after losing full-time work and high-paying jobs because of the pandemic," Justin Winslow, Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association President and CEO, said in a statement Monday.

Winslow said that more than half of the 600,000 hospitality workers in Michigan temporarily lost their jobs and that numerous restaurants across the state were unable to reopen after the state-mandated shutdown for dine-in service in March.

Eligible applicants can receive a payment of up to $500. Applications will be processed until funds are depleted, officials said. The relief fund received slightly more than 4,000 applicants during the first round.

Applicants must be Michigan residents, have proof of employment in the hospitality industry on March 10 when Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan. Applications will also need to provide proof of a furlough or job loss as a result.

Eligible hospitality employees can apply online at mrlaef.org/relief-fund

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN