Fayetteville group distributes grants for laid off hospitality workers

Screen capture, fayira.org

The newly established Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Association has begun distributing grants to hospitality workers laid off as a result of COVID-19, but donations are still needed to fulfill the need.

The group, founded by Bordinos GM Reese Roberts, last month launched fayira.org to collect donations to help restaurant workers with essential needs.

The first of those grants to help pay partial rents and other needs have already begun going out.

“Essentially, we are doing our best to make sure people stay fed and we are raising money to help people pay bills,” Roberts told us last month. “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 helped establish the fund through their non-profit organization, but the restaurant association hopes to become its own entity 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 told us.

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).

In addition to accepting donations directly, the group is also raising funds through t-shirt sales in partnership with local printer, B-Unlimited. The FayIRA receives a portion of the proceeds from every t-shirt sold.

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