St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce joins initiative and calls for local business participation
Spirion, a pioneer in data security and privacy solutions, today announced the formal launch of its This One Is On Us restaurant relief program to benefit local food service workers affected by Florida’s April 1 mandated shutdown to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Formally joining the initiative is the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Together, both organizations have issued a city-wide challenge for local business leaders to unite behind the restaurant relief program to support the community’s hard-hit industry.
Since April 15th, Spirion employees have participated in the program by donating a percentage of their paycheck to purchase meals from local eateries to give to the restaurant’s staff. To date, Spirion has raised $9,000, which will help feed more than 800 restaurant workers and their families. With participation from the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and other businesses, the program’s goal is to provide 5,000 meals to restaurant workers over the next three months.
“As a small business owner and Chair of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, I know the unprecedented struggles that many of our small businesses are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As a restaurant owner, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that this pandemic has had economically on the hospitality industry here in St. Petersburg,” said Ryan Griffin, Chair, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. “These restaurants form the very fabric of our local community, economy, and culture. It is in challenging times like this that we must not only come together, but we must show how special our community is here in St. Petersburg. An exemplary example of this sense of community is what Spirion is doing.”
“We are grateful for Spirion supporting our business and providing financial relief in the form of hot meals for 25 of our staff who have been so hard-hit by this fast-moving pandemic,” said Matt Lease, General Manager of Bella Brava. “The program represents the best of St. Pete—individuals and businesses coming together behind a common goal to help each other in a time of need.”
“Downtown St. Pete is a thriving, exciting place to work and live in large part due to the amazing restaurants, hotels, and music venues. The Florida foodservice industry employs around 12% of our state’s workers and accounts for $50 billion in revenue. Restaurants are losing business, and their workers are out of jobs,” said Kevin Coppins, President and CEO of Spirion. “Spirion is committed to supporting our community and those in need. We are pleased that the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce was so quick to join this initiative, and we invite other business leaders to unite with us so we can exceed our goal in providing 5,000 meals to local restaurant workers.”
According to the National Restaurant Association, the economic impact of COVID-19 on the industry is projected to reach $225 billion in lost revenue and 5‒7 million in lost jobs over the next three months.
To donate to the This One Is On Us restaurant relief program, please reach out to Anne Core (firstname.lastname@example.org, 240-491-1843), Communications Coordinator, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
Elisabeth Cullivan Thomas