Service and retail workers around the world are missing out on income and some of them are losing their jobs as a result of the coronavirus shut down. Lawmakers have promised relief initiatives which include suspending rent and utility payments, as well as income supplementation. In the United States, such measures are still being discussed, and many workers are still wondering what their future will look like.
Workers in the US have the option of filing for unemployment, but that only provides a portion of their income and requires a lengthy application process. Many services and retail workers who live paycheck to paycheck are at risk of suffering serious financial hardships from being out of work for an extended period of time.
The government has suspended mortgage payments, which means that homeowners cant be evicted for missed payments during the lockdown, but this offers very little help to renters, many of whom have been told by their landlords that they are still expected to pay their rent.
However, a landlord in Jonesboro, Arkansas, made a post on social media earlier this week saying that his company would not expect its restaurants to pay rent during the shut down, and instead suggested that they continue to pay their employees instead.
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Young Investment Company owns properties that are home to some of the area’s most popular restaurants, including Eleanor’s Pizzeria, Roots, Main Street Coffee, The Parsonage, and City Wok. Property owner Clay Young said that all small businesses are suffering right now and he did not want to put more pressure on them during this difficult time.
“It was just the right thing to do,” he said.
Paula Lowe, co-owner and executive chef at Roots said that these are uncertain and unprecedented times.
“This is a crisis that the restaurant industry has never faced before. There’s nothing that we can change. Every day is day-by-day,” Lowe said.
“I’ve been in this industry for 27 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Lowe added.
Image Credit: Roots Restaurant