Raising funds, awareness for hospitality employees in Baton Rouge

As COVID cases trend upward, it continues to affect the hospitality industry but there’s a program trying to raise awareness and funds for workers.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:30 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As COVID cases trend upward, it continues to affect the hospitality industry in Louisiana but there’s a program trying to raise awareness and funds for hospitality employees in need.

The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and Fidelity Bank are holding a fundraising program. It’s called P.O.W.E.R. Plates. It stands for “Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized” and caters to thousands of female-owned businesses.

The goal is to raise awareness and drive business to women-led restaurants in south Louisiana during the slow summer business months like July.

There are about 50 participating restaurants and bars enrolled in the programs and more than a dozen in Baton Rouge.

As COVID cases trend upward, it continues to affect the hospitality industry but there’s a program trying to raise awareness and funds for workers.

“Staffing has been very hard and as women, we want to pick up the pieces so if we don’t have the staff, then women are going to be the ones working in the kitchen if their chef isn’t there,” said Liz Broekman, director of P.O.W.E.R. Program Fidelity Bank. “They’re going to the kitchen and helping cook. We are the only bank in the region that is doing a program like this for women.”

When you go to one of these restaurants or bars in the Capital City, you can choose the P.O.W.E.R. Plates special dish or drink. One dollar will be donated to the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.

Fidelity Bank will match donations up to $2,500. CLICK HERE to see all participating businesses.

“Hospitality is so important to our state and with hotels and restaurants and bars and all of the hospitality businesses that we have, it’s crucial in our community. We would love to talk to women entrepreneurs for women in business about our program,” explained Broekman.

She added the organization also gives crisis grants to hospitality workers. It covers everything from medical bills to paying rent.

There will also be an event happening later this month at Ruffino’s, hoping to connect more businesses. CLICK HERE to learn more about it.

You can also reach out to Broekman at LizBroekman@bankwithfidelity.com

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