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.
Michigan’s Thumb Restaurants and Pubs Hit Hard by Covid Orders
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:
- Banquet Halls
- Bowling Allies
- Food Trucks
- Golf Courses
- Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfast, Resorts
- 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.
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.
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.