The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has unveiled a US$62,500 support package to aid New Orleans bartenders impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Mardi Gras Gives initiative has been created in partnership with Gambino’s King Cake Rum Cream, Gambino’s Bakery, Tequila Tromba USA, Republic National Distributing Company, Don Q Rum, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Rémy Cointreau, Edrington, and 375 Park Avenue Spirits.

The US$62,500 fund will be distributed to 250 bartenders and bar backs working across New Orleans that have been furloughed or laid off as a result of the pandemic.

John Eason, Tequila Tromba CEO, said: “Being born and raised in New Orleans, a sense of community and hospitality is instilled in all of us at an early age.

“I grew up in the city’s bar scene. Working in it helped put me through college and gave me an industry education that would benefit my entire career. As I walked through the French Quarter Friday, the severity of Covid and the Mardi Gras bar closings hit me hard. Our bartenders and bar backs are hit the hardest.

“Losing the Mardi Gras season is a crippling blow to so many service people. US$250 for 250 bartenders and bar backs doesn’t begin to cover the loss or address the situation, but it does help some folks in need buy important things like groceries or pay a light bill. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give something back and to the companies that came together to help.”

Eligible bartenders and bar backs are invited to apply for first-come, first-served relief funds in the form of a US$250 grant. Applicants must be working at a standalone bar or nightclub, and be able to demonstrate loss of employment or furlough status between February 2020 and February 2021.

At least 50% of the grant money available will be allocated to eligible applicants who identify as women, members of the BIPOC community or are over the age of 60.

Caroline Rosen, president of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, said: “Mardi Gras is traditionally New Orleans’ largest revenue-generating holiday annually.

“We know our bartending community is feeling the impact of the lost revenue this year as a result of the pandemic. We are incredibly grateful to have incredible partners who are stepping in to help offset these financial hardships for our industry. This sense of community and taking care of one another is emblematic of New Orleans and the embodiment of the Mardi Gras spirit.”

Eligible applicants are now invited to apply for relief funds via the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation website.

Earlier this month, Tales of the Cocktail revealed its annual conference will take place virtually in September 2021.
Via The Spirits Business
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