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Six ways Chattanooga, TN businesses, orgs are helping during coronavirus

The Monens employ hundreds of Chattanoogans who are now out of work, so they launched an Employee Relief Fund through GoFundMe to raise money for their workers.

If there’s one thing Chattanooga knows how to do, it’s work together to help their fellow citizens.

Chloé here, and oftentimes when there’s a crisis, many of us remember that quote from beloved children’s TV personality, Mr. Rogers. His mother told him to always look for the helpers when he was afraid. 

Local people, organizations + businesses are stepping up and organizing help for service workers, who are taking a hit as the pandemic forces restaurants to close for dine-in services.

Check out these six examples of local helpers. We think we speak for everyone when we say, “thank you.

Monen Employee Relief Fund

Taylor + Mike Monen own and operate five local restaurants — Community Pie, Urban Stack, Hi-Fi Clyde’s, Taco Mamacita and Milk and Honey. They also recently opened Market South, the city’s new food hall. They employ hundreds (about 450 people here and 150 in Nashville restaurants) of Chattanoogans who are now out of work, so they launched an Employee Relief Fund through GoFundMe to raise money for their workers.

Taylor + Mike are also matching every dollar raised in an effort to help staff “stay on their feet while we are weathering the effects of the COVID-19 virus and the efforts to contain it’s spread.”

ArtsBuild Artist Emergency Fund 

Chattanooga nonprofit ArtsBuild created an artist emergency fund to help self-employed artists in Hamilton County recover lost income from the cancellation of a specific gig or other opportunities — like a commission, performance or contract — because of precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

○ Artists can request up to $500 to compensate for work that was scheduled and lost.

○ Funding requests should be related to gigs that have been permanently canceled since March 13, 2020, not just postponed.

○ To apply, complete the application including all uploads by Wednesday at 5 p.m. of the week you are applying.

○ Full details here, along with info about donating to the fund plus a weekend live-stream quarantine and charity concert by local band Strung Like a Horse to benefit the fund.

Legacy Box gives stipend 

Chattanooga company Legacybox, which employs about 200 people locally, is giving all its employees a $250-stipend to help with unexpected expenses.

In addition to allowing corporate employees to work from home, it’s also letting workers use leave for any reason while coping with the pandemic.

Southside Creative offers services 

Local agency Southside Creative is offering area small business services at no cost.

The team can help with:

○ PR + communication

○ Graphic design services

○ Social media strategy and support

The team is dedicating 20 percent of its time to help local businesses, which will get assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, email Ronelle Sellers at ronelle@southsidecreative.comCalvin Donaldson teachers make packets

We would be remiss if we didn’t include educators on this list. We know there are likely countless instances of teachers pulling together to support their students and we couldn’t love it more.

This week, on Instagram, Hamilton County schools highlighted Calvin Donaldson teachers, who made care packages and learning packets for students to pick up outside of the building.

Bravo, y’all. And thank you.

Food for Public House employees 

We got an email from one of our lovely readers who pointed us to local restaurateur Nathan Lindley, who owns Public House, The Social + El Primo.

Lindley and his employees have been sharing on Facebook how they are coping together. Management prepared huge food donations for the staff to take home.

Lindley’s event coordinator wrote about being thankful for the team:  “I cannot express my gratitude enough. Today our management team spent the day preparing and boxing food to fill 30 large takeout bags for all of our staff to take home as needed. We even joked about throwing in a pack of toilet paper too.”


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