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Laid Off Thumb Restaurant Workers Due to COVID Can Get $1,650 Employee Assistance Grants

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation announced it would administer the Employee Assistance Grants’ application process. Employees impacted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Gathering and Face Mask Order that took effect on November 18, 2020, are eligible to apply for one-time grants during the application period of January 15 through January 25. Restaurant and tavern workers that were impacted can receive up to $1,650.

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data illustrates that Michigan’s hospitality industry now operates with 33 percent fewer employees than it did the same time last year. This is a loss nearly twice that of the nation overall. The grants are for those workers who were laid off or had their hours reduced.

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Michigan’s Thumb Restaurants and Pubs Hit Hard by Covid Orders

Shelly's Grindstone City - Michigan Employee Assistance Grants
Workers at Shelly’s in Grindstone City

ABC News 12 reported that the Huron County Board of Commissioners sent a letter on December 30th to Governor Gretchen Whitmer pleading with her to lift the restaurant closure orders for the Thumb of Michigan. The Board conveyed to the Governor that, “Our restaurants suffered tremendously this summer over your restrictions, many of which will continue to suffer greatly with restricted occupancy. They need to be open to survive another year. We’ve already had some permanently close.”

Outdoor seating has limited restaurant and bar owners options and in some cases its carry-out only.

Eligible Industries that Workers Can Get Employee Assistance Grants

Michigan employees impacted by the MDHHS Order of November 2020 must have been working in one of the following industries to qualify for an Employee Assistance Grant:

  • Bars
  • Banquet Halls
  • Bowling Allies
  • Cafeterias
  • Casinos
  • Caterers
  • Food Trucks
  • Golf Courses
  • Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfast, Resorts
  • Nightclubs
  • Restaurants
  • Theaters
  • And other such recreational facilities

Employee Assistance Grants Application Process Begins January 15th

All eligible employees in Michigan should apply for Employee Assistance Grants online at mrlaef.org/money beginning at 9 a.m. on Jan. 15, with the deadline for all application submissions by 5 p.m. on Jan. 25.

The website will be open for submissions throughout the ten-day period. Applicants must be Michigan residents, demonstrate proof of employment in one of the industries noted below on Nov. 18, 2020, when the MDHHS Gathering and Face Mask Order that took effect, and proof of being negatively impacted financially as a result of furlough/layoff/job loss or a reduction in hours worked. Payments up to $1,650 will be provided to approved applicants.

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What Information is Needed for the Employee Assistance Grants?

The following information will be required during the online Employee Assistance Grants application process:

  • Legal name
  • Mailing address
  • Social security number
  • Date of hire
  • Employer business name, manager name, phone number, and email address
  • Proof of employment in November 2020 via a paystub or signed letter on business letterhead stating employment was impacted by MDHHS Order of November 2020

Applicants are urged to ensure their submission is correct and complete, as incorrect submissions will disqualify their application. Further information on how and when to apply can be found at the Employee Assistance Grants website.

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All Employee Assistance Grant applicants will receive an email no later than Feb. 26, 2021, confirming whether the grant was approved or denied. The State of Michigan Department of Treasury will issue the grant payments. Grant awards are taxable but will not count against unemployment as income.

Two Verbs News

3 thoughts on “Laid Off Thumb Restaurant Workers Due to COVID Can Get $1,650 Employee Assistance Grants”

    • Hi Ken, Thanks for your comment.

      In this case, the news item was released by the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association. Given that so many restaurant workers in the Thumb region have been affected by this pandemic and none of the other local news sites carried this information, I felt compelled to publish it. Hopefully, some hospitality workers affected will get some benefit.

      Thumbwind was founded in 2009 by tracking information and updates about the wind industry’s growth in the Thumb. A scorching topic to this day. We also cover the threat to the Michigan Commerical Fishing industry, which imperils the existence of our beloved Bay Port Fish Company. So besides exploring and finding great things to do in the Thumb, we cover topical issues affecting the region.

      We hope you will continue to enjoy this site as we explore new places to see and things to do along with our expanding newsy topics from time to time.

      All the best in this New Year.

      Reply
  1. Don’t get me wrong Mike, I love your site and have been a member for a long time and hope and pray to be for a long time, but to pick out one job or career field when so many people all thruout the state are in same bind, so certain groups get aid from TAXPAYERS MONEY, but screw the other workers or careers,,, okay now lets say i am a senior citizen, veteran, worked all my life, don’t have much in the bank as inflation had eaten up any money i have coming in.. Now, over the many years the govt TOOK MY MONEY to call it SS. Then if you live you might get it back, some will get back more then they put in to it, but many will die and lose all that savings, so when the govt comes out with a check for all people (should be only for adults) that paid taxes, we all get them of all race, religion, and sex. that is the only fair way. again not the kids. If any of us of any age are working we pay our own way for our kids I love the resturant employees that i know well . but what about all the sales and stockers at stores that get paid mim wage. who are laid off now. give a bonus of taxpayers money to the resturants but screw the clerks,.. Seems to me the govt is picking and choosing, I think that govt should only give these checks to the Seniors for they have no (zero) income. and SS is not income,,,,,,, remember its a refund of their own money and pray they live long enough to see some of it.
    Again, love your site, and love sites that keeps out of politics. to support one group of people over all the other ones is WRONG. thanks agian, Ken….

    Reply

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