© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Coronavirus In Ohio: Restaurant Association Launches Relief Fund For Hospitality Workers

The usually-bustling Short North has been empty as Ohio shut down all but essential
Ryan Hitchcock
The usually-bustling Short North has been empty as Ohio shut down all but essential businesses.

The Ohio Restaurant Association has set up an employee relief fund for restaurant and hospitality workers with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.


Eligible workers can seek assistance to pay for housing, groceries, transportation and medical bills.

“They are in need,” says Homa Moheimani, spokeswoman for the Ohio Restaurant Association. “They need help. They have lost their opportunity to make an income.”

Since the Ohio Department of Health closed bars and dine-in restaurants, more than half of Ohio’s restaurants have closed, leaving many employees without income. Moheimani says the association is encouraging corporations and those still employed to give online.

“I think they are grateful for the help and I think many people that can help are grateful that they can do something through this opportunity,” says Moheimani.

Moheimani says Heartland Payment System has already donated $8,500.

Moheimani says it could take a few weeks for applicants to see the money.

“We always say restaurants are the cornerstones of every community,” Moeheimani says. “And the people that work in the restaurant, food service, hospitality industry are not just workers, these are our neighbors, our family.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said a donation came from Heartland Bank, instead of Heartland Payment System.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.