Local leaders, business groups set up GoFundMe to help support restaurant employees

Business
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With so many restaurants struggling during this pandemic, the city of Sacramento is teaming up with business groups to raise funds for those businesses and employees affected.

At Mulvaney’s Building and Loan restaurant, owner Patrick Mulvaney is preparing care packages of food for his 50 now out-of-work employees to take home.

“When they come in tomorrow to get their final checks, they’ll get their packets but then also a to-go bag of dinners, probably enough for a couple of days. And everyone gets toilet paper,” Mulvaney told FOX40.

It’s one of the few things he feels he can do to help them as his restaurant remains closed during the pandemic.

“We don’t know what the answers are and we don’t know what comes next. And heartbreaking after 35 years to tell 50 people you don’t have a job after today,” said Mulvaney.

Also hoping to do more is the Metro Chamber of Commerce, Visit Sacramento, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, region restaurants and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s office.

Those groups have set up a joint GoFundMe page for Sacramento’s restaurants.

“Right now we have thousands of people who are going on unemployment, hundreds of restaurants are closing their doors, and these dollars will go directly towards helping trying to save as many restaurants through this period of time as we can,” said Joshua Wood, the chief executive officer for the Sacramento Region Business Association.

Overnight, they raised more than $7,000 and are now up to more than $10,000.

“People can go on and they can donate just to the cause in general or they can go on and actually designate specific restaurants if that’s something that’s important to them,” said Wood.

Wood told FOX40 a committee of business leaders will be in charge of the funds and that the money is going only to the restaurants and their employees, and nowhere else.

“Not one dollar of this is going to be going to administration of this process,” said Wood.

Mulvaney said every cent will help. But he also worries some businesses simply will not survive.

“I think that some are going to close, unfortunately, I think it’s going to be hard to figure out how you do this,” said Mulvaney. “Because restaurants operate on a very small margin, most of us are less than 5% which means we need money coming in so we can pay those bills.”

There is an email address on the GoFundMe page for restaurants and bars to sign up for the distribution list and for the application.

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