STRATEGIC UPDATE | MARCH 17, 2020

Updated: Apr 1




As our nation and industry adjust to a new normal and take the necessary measures to respond to a global pandemic, we are pivoting our focus to provide resources, tools, and support for food and beverage professionals in both the short and long term. We hope you'll join us.


Dear partners and friends,As our world adapts and adjusts during this unprecedented moment for our communities, it’s more important than ever that we come together. This time we will do so not with physical gatherings, but with shared solidarity, support networks, and strategic thinking.


Many of you are aware that we postponed the Grand Opening of Proof last weekend as the full scope of the pandemic began to make itself evident. With more extreme measures being announced with each passing day, our industry stands to experience dramatic changes and impacts on both the individual and brand level. It is our goal to be a resource for the local food and beverage community during this time of uncertainty.


Food & beverage has always been about preparing for the future, mitigating risk by storing up resources, and doing so with kindness, generosity, and creativity. We are an industry that is built on hard work and ingenuity. Let’s apply that to our current situation and work together to help solve problems.


Provision for people, especially those with little to no safety net, will be just as important as “flattening the curve” of the virus and will apply to many people in our industry. Here's what we are already doing:


- We are developing partnerships to plant edible gardens in communities around Chattanooga to provide fresh, free food for at-risk communities. We hope to have a full plan by the end of this week.


- We are actively working with local, state, and federal officials to make sure that we are part of and coordinating with larger systems and resources.


- We are planning digital forums for some of the most common questions on topics like insurance claims, reducing overhead, supply chain disruptions, and emergency resources available during this time.


- Our bartenders will be hosting "Virtual Happy Hours" with tips and tricks for how to make your own craft cocktails at home and a Venmo handle for tips..


- One of our partners, Lass and Lions Vodka, is producing hand sanitizer locally if you know of anyone who needs it follow along on Facebook HERE.


Below you'll find a growing list of resources that we've compiled to date which we will be updating as more become available.


We are here for you, and we are listening. What resources would you want to see in the immediate and long term for our industry? How can we virtually gather together during this time to divide the burden and multiply the joy? What ways are you looking forward to slowing down, using less, conserving resources, and being mindful during this unique moment?


Until we reconnect face to face, we remain committed to continuing to grow, build, and diversifying Chattanooga’s food and beverage scene and providing as much support as we can during this particularly challenging time. Be well and wash your hands.


All the best,

Michael Robinson, Mia Littlejohn, Toby Darling, and Kaleena Goldsworthy


Food and Beverage specific resources:


Click Here for a list of Chattanooga restaurants offering take out


Click here to learn about the "Chattanooga Service Industry Fund" which will help with past due bills (valid paystub required)


Learn about and file for Unemployment benefits with the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development


Another Round, Another Rally - Offers emergency aid for hardships


USBG National Charity Foundation - Bartender Emergency Assistance Program - To apply for emergency assistance (you do NOT need to be a USBG affiliated bartender). Make a donation here.


Restaurant Workers Community Foundation - Resources for Restaurants and Workers coping with COVID-19. RELIEF FUND: https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/


CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) - Offers assistance to children of food and bev employees.


Chattanooga Beverage Alliance has set up a form for bartenders to share their Venmo handle to receive virtual tips HERE.


For anyone experiencing food shortages, there are lots of resources including schools offering bag lunches, community organizations and food pantries organized by the Hamilton County Department of Education HERE.


The United Way of Greater Chattanooga is available for those who need extra assistance navigating this challenging time. You can reach them by dialing 2-1-1 or emailing 211staff@uwchatt.org


Small Business specific resources:


US Small Business Administration - Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Guidance for Businesses / Employers, etc.SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance


US Chamber of Commerce


Mental & Social Resources:


DownDogApp - Fitness app offering free classes through 4/1


Try a free meditation for anxiety HERE.


Tennessee's Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services has a great list of resources for anyone in need of help during this crisis.

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