New group seeks to help local restaurant workers laid off as a result of COVID-19

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A new group has established a website to accept donations to help local hospitality workers laid off as a result of COVID-19.

The newly established Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Association created the site, which includes an area for locals to donate to the cause, and for workers to apply for aid.

The organization was founded by Reese Roberts, general manager at Bordinos.

“Essentially, we are doing our best to make sure people stay fed and we are raising money to help people pay bills,” Roberts said. “Some of us can help our employees to an extent, but every restaurant in the city has had to lay most or all of their staff off for the time being. In the long run, we are hoping to establish FIRA as its own association for future needs.”

The Dickson Street Merchants Association is helping to establish the fund through their non-profit organization for now, but the restaurant association hopes to become its own organization in the future.

Any hospitality professional who was working in Fayetteville and has been displaced (laid off, severely affected work-wise) by COVID-19 can apply for funds, Roberts said.

The association will act as the “board of trustees” to handle the application process and disbursement, and the board consists of Roberts, along with locals Hannah Withers (Leverett Lounge), Elliot Hunt (Atlas) and Chrissy Sanderson (Mockingbird Kitchen).

For a bit more info, to donate, or to apply for funding, visit