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Top Chefs and Restaurateurs Urge Local Florida Government to Provide Relief for Restaurants Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Chefs are asking South Florida’s mayors and our governor to step in

Some of Miami’s top chefs and restaurant groups are taking to social media to urge local officials to step in and aid the restaurant community amid the growing novel Coronavirus outbreak in South Florida.

James Beard award-winning chef and one of Miami’s most prominent culinary figures, Michelle Bernstein, took to social media earlier today urging lawmakers to allow restaurants to keep their sales and county taxes, which are due in just three days on March 20.

Bernstein notes in her roughly one-minute long Instagram video that this would help local bars, restaurants, and their respective staffs stay afloat a bit longer, considering the drastic state of affairs they are currently facing. Bernstein’s eatery, Cafe La Trova, closed its doors to the public after dinner service on March 15, and a city-wide ban of dining in at restaurants begins in Miami tonight at 11:59 p.m. with no current end in sight.

Norman Van Aken reiterated Bernstein’s sentiments on his own his own channel a few hours later, urging state and city lawmakers to take drastic steps — and fast. “We need help from the city and the state to survive. We need some sort of economic relief,” he says in his open letter. And Macchialina’s Michael Pirolo and Timon Balloo from Balloo and Sugarcane also took to their channels today to urge lawmakers to delay the tax payments.

And the team behind behind Grove Bay Hospitality Group — which run eateries like Stubborn Seed, Glass & Vine, and Root and Bone — launched a petition on Instagram asking the community to support their plea for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to provide immediate relief to hourly and salaried restaurant workers. The link to the petition can be found here.

It’s no question that local restaurants will be hurt through the forced shuttering due to concerns of the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. While the effects are still unknown, it’s easy to see that America’s restaurant industry has never seen a crisis on this scale before.

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