Lula Cafe Credit: David Sorich/Flickr

CHICAGO — Bar and restaurant owners weren’t the only ones who felt a sense of panic as schools and businesses were ordered to close because of coronavirus.

Event organizers, hair stylists, personal trainers and others who can’t work from home and often don’t have paid sick leave were left wondering how they would pay their bills.

As the city and state roll out emergency funds for those impacted financially by COVID-19, community members want to make sure their favorite spots survive social distancing.

Hideout Inn owners Tim and Katie Tuten announced their closure before the state mandate. They launched a “virtual tip jar” to help get employees through these uncertain times. By Monday, more than $21,000 had been raised for workers.

On Sunday, a couple purchased five $50 gift cards from Café Tacuba in Lincoln Square — a big help, owner Melissa Kapetanovic said.

“I just want to really persuade people to please continue shopping local,” she said. “We depend on the public, we wouldn’t be able to survive it this happens for too long. We really need your help.”

On Monday, a Facebook page called Chicago Hospitality Employee Relief set out to collect fundraising information from all Chicago businesses seeking help. Another page helped curate a list of restaurants offering deals, gift cards, curbside pickup, delivery and more.

“We are humbly asking our community to help our staff get through this difficult time,” Logan Square pizzeria Reno wrote on GoFundMe. “Every dollar raised here will go to and be equitably distributed among our bartenders, servers, bus boys, food runners, and cooks.”

Want To Help Your Fave Spot? Find It Here And Donate To The Staff:

You can add your business to the spreadsheet here.

Another way to help? Get delivery and gift cards here:

Bar and restaurant workers came together to curate a comprehensive list of what is open for delivery and pick-up throughout the city.

The list breaks down hours, delivery options, deals and more. Check it out here. You can add your business to the spreadsheet here.

Buy A Shirt, Help A Restaurant

Chicago’s Leisure Activities hospitality group (Young American, Ludlow Liquors) partnered with workwear company Stock Mfg. to create Chicago Hospitality United, a line of T-shirts with proceeds benefiting employees at dozens of Chicago bars and restaurants.

Tees are $25 each with the option to “leave a tip” for those inclined to give more. Proceeds will be split evenly among hourly workers at the bars and restaurants. Click here to see all the shirt styles and list of restaurants. There’s also a straight up donation option if you don’t want a shirt.

As of Tuesday morning — less than 24 hours after posting the shirts — the group had sold $27,000 in tees.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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