St. Petersburg business and civic leaders have launched #CarryOutStPete, an effort to support local restaurants.
St. Pete business owners have committed to buy 500 carry-out meals for their workers on Friday, March 20 and Friday, March 27, and organizers want more businesses to join the initiative.
Restaurants across Florida have been hit hard by efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Monday ordered restaurants in the city to cut seating capacity by 50 percent and separate tables by six feet. On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a similar order statewide, and also suspended operations of bars and nightclubs in the state for 30 days. Restaurants locally and nationwide have begun laying off workers, and many more layoffs are expected.
“This is a serious situation. There are people trying to determine how they are going to feed their families,” Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said during Wednesday’s episode of Chamber Insights on the St. Pete Catalyst.
The Chamber, the Greater St. Petersburg Economic Development Corp., the St. Pete Greenhouse and Modern Business Associates are among the community organizations asking businesses to join the #CarryOutStPete initiative by placing bulk carry-out orders at local restaurants.
“We want local restaurants and hospitality groups — the same ones who have sponsored our fundraising events and our t-ball teams — to know that we support them,” said Brady Diggs, senior director of business development at Modern Business Associates, a St. Petersburg-based HR outsourcing company. “It is our duty as business leaders to come to their aid when they need us most.”
Not only will the effort provide some financial relief to local restaurants but it also will be a morale booster to employees of companies taking part in the program, Diggs said.
J.P. DuBuque, president and CEO of the EDC, said he was confident local industry leaders would join the initiative.
“It is incredibly important that we band together to show our support of local businesses during this time of uncertainty,” DuBuque said.
While there are 500 meals already committed to being purchased by local business leaders, there is still plenty of room to get involved, organizers said. Click here for a full list of local restaurants and carry-out menus.
The #CarryOutStPete cohort is asking local employers, residents, and vacationers to step up and join in the effort this Friday, March 20 and next Friday, March 27. For a full list of local restaurants and carry out menus, click here.