Back in March, Time Out changed its name to Time In as our readers all over the world were suddenly asked to stay indoors to protect themselves and others. And even as lockdowns are being relaxed in some states and countries, it's become abundantly clear that social distancing in some form will be with us for the long run, which spells danger for the places that make city life worth living.
Our editors have been seeking out the best of city life since 1968. We know that our cities are nothing without their restaurants, cafés, bars, theatres, music venues, nightclubs, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, create, cut loose and fall in love.
If we don’t take action right now, countless local businesses will be forced to close their doors forever. Many venues, already struggling to pay their bills, face a total collapse in footfall or a huge bill to adapt to social distancing. And millions of bartenders, waiters, cooks, artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and other creatives and makers have been left unable to earn a living.
We’re determined to help. That’s why we’re launching our Love Local campaign by officially lending our voice to 16 crucial campaigns that are fighting to support local food, drink, culture and entertainment in cities worldwide.
Here in Chicago, we're putting our voice behind Comp Tab Relief Fund, a partnership between Support Staff and nonprofit Pilot Light that benefits out-of-work hospitality professionals. The community-based fund is open to all who apply, with dollars distributed on a need basis. It's worth noting, too, that the folks at Support Staff have compiled a comprehensive list of financial, food and health resources to utilize during this time.
The causes we're backing globally are already doing incredible work. We're proud to support them as they raise funds, spread the word and lobby decision-makers to support the local spots that keep our cities' lifeblood pumping. We’re urging all our readers (that's you!) to lend a hand, whether it’s by donating money, signing a petition or simply telling a friend.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to hear how you can help as we step up our campaign over the coming weeks. As cities come back to life one by one, we’ll be supporting their local independent venues with fundraising, new Time Out Recommended badges and a dedicated day of celebration.
And finally, to the businesses going through a tough time right now: Know that we’re with you, and when you return, we’ll be first in line.
Time Out Chicago