Some industries are hit harder than others during the COVID-19 crisis. In general, almost everything other than the essential businesses have taken a heavy toll on business and personal income.
For individuals, seeking an industry-specific relief program will allow them to earn more than the basic unemployment benefit - if they were applicable, and the one-time stimulus check. For some small businesses, they have a higher chance of being awarded a grant or forgivable loan by an industry-specific relief program than competing in the large pool of general relief funds such as the PPP issued by the federal government.
Below are four industry-specific COVID-19 relief programs we’ve gathered. Be sure to share this with your family and friends too - at this point, we really should give all opportunities a try.
#1 The RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
This nationwide relief fund/personal grant for restaurant employees is both an ongoing fundraise effort and a relief fund going out to help individuals and business owners.
As for the funds raised, 50% is used for direct crisis relief to individual restaurant workers, 25% is for nonprofit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis and 25% is distributed as zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running.
#2 USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
You don’t need to be a USBG member to apply for this relief program. As long as you are a bartender, or a spouse or child of a bartender, you will be an eligible applicant. The grant recipients are selected according to a series of criteria, including whether the individual has experienced catastrophic impact due to COVID-19, whether the individual is capable of maintaining minimum living conditions, and if the individual is seeking help for a sudden, unanticipated emergency or dealing with a long-term problem.
#3 MPTF Emergency Relief Fund
Supported by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the MPTF Emergency Relief Fund is one of the few relief programs tailored to help artists and creative individuals with the pandemic.
Specifically, this program is designed to help workers and other individuals in the entertainment industry. The MPTF does pose a minimum requirement of working hours, and an individual must meet the hour threshold 3 out of the past 6 years to be considered eligible.
To begin the process, you can call MPTF hotline at 323-634-3888.
#4 Artist Relief
Artist Relief is one of the biggest and best-funded grant to help artists handle emergencies during the quarantine period. Each grant recipient will be given a $5,000 grant to deal with dire financial needs. You will find requirements of applicants on their webpage easily.
In the meantime, Artist Relief is also powering a nationwide survey designed by Americans of Arts to better identify and address the needs of artists.
Besides the programs mentioned above, many states and counties have organized fundraisers to launch their own relief programs to help employees in different industries. These resources are most likely to be available on your local Chamber’s website, or be powered and shared by your local industry union or coalitions.
During this difficult time, it is important to stay creative and resourceful. Make sure you are tuned into the latest updates regarding COVID-19 relief programs and your local efforts in making life a little easier for the residents.
That way, you will know when an opportunity is standing at your doorstep.