Standard Hotels in New York, Miami and London have now closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and CEO Amar Lalvani is now calling for consumers to contribute to the brand’s employee relief fund to help staff members struggling financially through the outbreak.
The Standard Stands Together initiative is calling for the public to donate funds to staff who have lost their jobs at the US hotels as an impact of Covid-19 and are struggling to maintain basic human needs.
While the government in the UK has pledged to pay 80% of employee wages at businesses, who would have otherwise been temporary laid off, the situation in the US is not so supportive.
Thousands of hospitality workers have already lost their jobs as a result.
The group has closed its two New York City hotels, The Standard High Line and The Standard East Village, The Standard Miami and its first international hotel, The Standard London.
The Standard Stands Together fund is bidding to raise $200,000 and has already garnered almost half that, with the donations standing at $94,281.
Amar Lalvani, CEO Standard Hotels, said: “Despite the big brand names you see, most hotels are owned by small companies or individuals. Hotels are operations that employ lots of people. They have very high fixed costs to operate, and competition is severe. Profit margins are thin, and have been getting thinner even before this crisis. What that means is modest drops in revenue from things like weather hurt profits. Big drops like the financial crisis, bite hard. Epic drops like the past week, kill. We simply cannot pay all of our staff if we have no guests.
“Our employees, like many others in the service industry, tend to live paycheck to paycheck. Most are hourly, often relying on tips. Many are immigrants without family infrastructure here. Few have savings. Most will not be able to pay rent next month. Without relief, many will leave our cities in a few months altogether.
“The government needs to step in now for them to survive on a human level, and for us to be able to reopen when this crisis subsides. This past week the UK government announced measures to cover 80% of employee wages for businesses forced to shut down because of the Covid-19. Our government should follow suit with similar quick, clear, decisive action. If they do not, not only will the personal family tragedies be severe, our ability to reopen our hotels for our communities when this subsides will be impaired.
“Today, Amber announces Standard Stands Together, an employee relief fund she led the creation of to support our employees displaced by the crisis.”