CHICAGO (CBS) — Relief is on the way for many Chicago restaurants struggling in the pandemic. The city will help distribute $1 million in relief for restaurant owners, particularly in minority communities.
Grants will come from One Fair Wage, a non-profit that advocates for restaurant workers. Restaurant owners who commit to paying a full minimum wage to all workers by 2026 are eligible. Supporters say it’s a lifeline.READ MORE: Brent Seabrook Ending Playing Career After 15 Years With Chicago Blackhawks
“With the pandemic, what was an issue of economic, racial, and gender injustice has become an issue of life and death,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage.
“This $1 million grant program will help Chicago restaurants and restaurant workers during this time of need, while helping to pave the way for one fair wage for Chicago restaurant workers; a full minimum wage with tips on top,” Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) said.READ MORE: Man Falls On Red Line Platform In Rogers Park, Dies After Train Strikes His Head
Most restaurant workers are paid less than the standard minimum wage because they get tips.
A recent One Fair Wage survey of restaurant workers in Illinois found:MORE NEWS: Lincoln Park Zoo Reopens Friday
- 53% reported at least one or more of their co-workers had contracted COVID-19;
- 84% of workers reported tips have declined during the pandemic, with 69% percent saying tips are down by at least half;
- 77% reported experiencing or witnessing hostile behavior from customers in response to staff enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols.
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