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Actress Lily Tomlin Donates to Relief Fund Supporting Detroit’s Food Industry Workers

Plus, Detroit announces grants for small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic

Actress Lily Tomlin wears yellow sunglasses, a shiny brown jacket, and a Notorius RBG shirt to a film premiere.
Actress Lily Tomlin donated $100,000 to a fund supporting local restaurant workers and delivery drivers.
Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Longtime metro Detroit restaurateur dead at 70

Edward Barbieri Jr., who inherited the Da Edoardo Restaurant Group from his father, has died at age 70. The cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis — a lung disease he was first diagnosed with 10 years ago. Barbieri Jr. was born in 1949 in Detroit. During his childhood, his family opened La Lanterna in Capitol Park. Over the years, the family-run restaurant group expanded under Barbieri Jr.’s guidance. The family plans to hold a private service and a public one later when the public health threat has subsided.

Actress Lily Tomlin donates to fund benefiting Michigan service industry

In recent weeks, thousands of Michigan food service industry workers have been laid off due to the the novel coronavirus epidemic. In response, the One Fair Wage campaign — an organization that’s fighting to eliminate the tipped minimum wage across multiple states — has launched an emergency fund providing relief to service workers and delivery drivers. On Monday, actress, activist, and native Detroiter Lily Tomlin and the Tara Health Foundation donated $100,000 to the fund.

As alcohol sales rise, the state urges drinking in moderation

As sales of alcohol increase across the country fueled by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission released a statement this week urging consumers to drink in moderation in order to protect their immune systems, the Detroit Free Press reports. The agencies guidance recommends setting limits on how much you drink, not drinking more than you normally would, drinking low- and non-alcoholic beverages, and avoiding or limiting sugary cocktails. Social distancing measures make it particularly difficult for people with substance abuse issues and people in recovery, but some people in the service industry are offering support throughout the crisis.

Hotels shut down

It’s not just hotel restaurants closing up. Hotels themselves are shutting down across metro Detroit as the novel coronavirus epidemic spreads across Michigan. The Siren Hotel, Detroit Foundation Hotel, the Shinola Hotel, and the Element Hotel are among roughly 20 establishments that have stopped accepting guests, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit provides relief to small businesses

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation has created a $3.1 million relief fund to help small businesses in the city that have been financially impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Grants are available to businesses with 50 employees or less and made $1 million or less last year. Companies must be able to prove they lost income due to the crisis. The fund will provide between $2,500 and $10,000 to businesses in need, which can go toward paying rent, mortgages, and employee pay. Applications are available online.

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