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Love Local: Time Out pledges support for local food, drink and culture in NYC

We’re helping the city’s independent businesses, and our fellow New Yorkers, by lending our voice to two crucial campaigns.

By Will Gleason

Hello, New York

Back in March, Time Out changed its name to Time In. Since then, we've all been living under an unprecedented statewide shutdown with instructions to largely stay indoors and to practice strict social distancing when we can’t. It’s been an intense and surreal few months. Now, finally, the state is starting to reopen this week. A lot remains unclear about the multi-phased reopening plan, but one thing’s for sure: social distancing is here to stay for quite some time. And while that may continue to be an inconvenience for most of us, it’s potentially disastrous for many of the businesses, people and industries that make New York a place worth living.

Time Out editors have been seeking out the best of the city since 1968. We know that New York is nothing without its restaurants, bars, theaters, music venues, nightclubs, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, dance and suffer through the occasional tragic open mic night.

If we don’t take action right now, countless venues will close forever. Many places, already struggling to pay their sky-high New York rents, are now dealing with months of lost revenue. On top of that, thousands of bartenders, waiters, cooks, artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and other creatives have been left unable to earn a living.

We’re determined to help. Today, we’re launching our Love Local campaign by officially lending our voice to two crucial initatives that are fighting to support local food, drink, culture and entertainment in New York.

First off, we’re supporting ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants). When the government shut down the city's restaurants and bars, about half a million people found themselves suddenly out of work. With paychecks lost overnight, many of these workers are struggling to pay their rent, buy medicine and put food on the table. ROAR was founded by a team of local hospitality professionals to advocate for policies on both a city and state level that will help the restaurant industry survive. ROAR and Robin Hood have also partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to provide direct cash assistance to out-of-work restaurant workers in the city now.

Second, we’re working to raise funds for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. With every theater closed in New York, local performers, artists and entertainment professionals are struggling to make ends meet. This fund is raising money for the vital social service programs of The Actors Fund, including emergency financial assistance, health insurance and counseling for members of the city’s theatrical community.

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to hear more about how we’ll be stepping up our campaign over the following weeks. As New York starts to open its doors once again, we’ll be supporting more local independent venues, and the people that bring them to life, with fundraising, new Time Out Recommended badges and a dedicated day of celebration.

And finally, to the New Yorkers and businesses going through a tough time right now: know that we’re with you. And when you return, we’ll be there on opening day.

Will Gleason
Time Out New York

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