Cool Springs Wines & Spirits announced Friday it is donating $25,000 to the “A Fund for Us” campaign of the Tennessee Action for Hospitality, a state-wide coalition of independent restaurant owners, hourly workers and chefs that recently formed as a response to the crisis the hospitality industry is facing due to the public health and safety threat of COVID-19.
The fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, will provide swift relief to qualifying hospitality professionals who have lost their job or seen a dramatic decrease in hours worked.
“It has been an unprecedented few weeks as our community faces historic challenges,” Cools Springs Wines & Spirts President and CEO Bret Moore said. “Amid the stress and uncertainty, it’s never been more critical to stay connected with one another, even as we practice social distancing, to keep each other healthy and safe.
“We feel fortunate our store is open for business. In addition to taking extraordinary measures to create a safe environment for our employees and customers, we wanted to give back to those in our industry who are profoundly affected by this pandemic.”
Through A Fund for Us, grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to individuals who meet the criteria, as resources are available. CFMT will administer the fund on behalf of the coalition, following a two-part application process.
While there are many worthwhile funds through national organizations, A Fund for Us sets itself apart by specifically serving individuals from the hospitality sector in the state of Tennessee. Corporate donations are currently being accepted; the employee assistance application will be available April 13.
“There is a strong synergy amongst businesses in the hospitality industry,” Moore added. “When we learned of the important mission of the Tennessee Action for Hospitality Coalition, we felt compelled to help and spearhead fundraising efforts from our industry partners. As we reached out to our suppliers and distributors, we were overwhelmed by their generous support. This is our turn to serve those who serve.”
Business owners and representatives of independent food and beverage businesses are encouraged to apply with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for assistance. Guidelines for eligibility are available at www.cfmt.org.
Cool Springs Wines & Spirits is taking several proactive measures in response to COVID-19 to help the hospitality industry. Restaurants are invited to set up mobile outposts in the store parking lot for customer takeout.
The business is hiring hospitality workers with lost income, and ownership is placing daily catering orders for staff meals to area restaurants to support affected local establishments and their employees.
Care and safety of employees and customers remains the top priority. In addition to a strict cleaning regimen every hour, Cool Springs Wines & Spirits has established a curbside pick-up service.
Orders can be called in or placed online. Team members pull the order and payment can be made curbside by credit card.
Home delivery is currently available through the store’s partner, Delivery Dudes, and will be available directly from Cool Springs Wines & Spirits early next week.
The store is operating under new business hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.