Bar owner peels 15 years worth of notes off the wall to give to unemployed staff

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Thursday 09 April 2020 14:45
news

Capitalism has essentially ground to a halt thanks to the pandemic we find ourselves in the midst of.

It’s not just one part of the chain that’s collapsed; employees and business owners are all the same boat.

Especially in the hospitality industry, where millions of jobs have been reported to be affected by the wholesale closure of bars, restaurants, cafes and basically anywhere people would go out to socialise.

No money is coming in. Bills are still coming out.

Which is why America has seen its unemployment rate rise to a historic – and terrifying – high, with 16 million Americans losing their jobs in the last three weeks.

In light of this, one Georgia bar owner has taken an innovative step to try and help her staff, who are now without income.

According to CNN, Jennifer Knox has owned The Sand Bar in Tybee Island, Georgia, for six years.

Before taking it over with her mother, Knox worked there for seven years as a bartender – so she knows just how her employees must be feeling right now.

And sitting in the empty bar, decorated via a tradition of patrons writing on a dollar bill and stapling it to the walls and ceiling, she was struck by sudden inspiration of how to help.

"We were sitting there doors locked and I'm like oh my gosh, 'there's money on the walls and we have time on our hands'," she told CNN.

"'We gotta get this money down'".

It took five volunteers (who worked for "pizza and beer," says Knox), three and a half days to take down the battered bills and a further week to clean them off.

Of the usable notes, $3,714 was eventually counted.

And thanks to Knox’s actions, she also received some supplementary donations from regular customers, taking the total she was able to distribute to her staff members $4,104.

It worked out at $600 each – half of the $1,200 one-time cheque Donald Trump is proposing.

It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something.

Knox is still collecting donations to give out too and says she’s hopeful that the Sand Bar will eventually reopen.

But for now she’s just doing everything within her power to help others.

"I can't just sit here and do nothing," she said. "I'll do what I can for my people”.

Time to round up those extra pennies down the back of the sofa...

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