NEW ORLEANS—PerkUp Financial Health, a New Orleans based workplace financial health platform providing financial education and other online tools to help employees make healthy financial decisions, and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, a national nonprofit and leader in worker financial health, joined forces to provide nearly 1,200 hospitality workers hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with cash grants and free financial coaching.
Through PerkUp COVID Assistance Fund for Employees (PerkUp CAFE), hospitality workers at Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Windsor Court Hotel, BRG Hospitality, and Liberty’s Kitchen who have been laid off, furloughed, or experienced a reduction in hours will receive $200 a month for three months (for a total of $600) and free financial coaching through TrustPlus, Neighborhood Trust’s financial wellness benefit that helps workers make the most of every hard-earned paycheck, to help them navigate their most pressing financial needs.
“During normal times, PerkUp strives to support the most financially vulnerable employees, so the ongoing pandemic has been especially devastating for these individuals,” says Benjamin Allen, President, PerkUp Financial Health. “With the PerkUp CAFE initiative, we have been able to extend critical financial assistance and counseling to all employees who have suffered economic hardship, even those employees who lost their jobs.”
Access to Ongoing Support System
“The hotel and restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, leaving too many workers making difficult financial choices,” says Justine Zinkin, CEO, Neighborhood Trust. “PerkUP CAFE will not only provide workers with some sustained cash relief, but access to a personalized, ongoing support system to help them navigate these decisions and make a plan.”
PerkUP CAFE is available to employees who were active prior to shutdowns and restrictions related to COVID-19 and who demonstrate that they have been financially harmed by the pandemic. Individuals will receive their funds on a prepaid Visa/Mastercard. Further, they will receive lifetime access to unlimited one-on-one, confidential support and expert financial guidance from TrustPlus. TrustPlus coaches will provide recipients with personalized advice on pressing financial challenges, like budgeting, savings, and credit card and student loan debt; guidance navigating COVID-19 related programs like unemployment, food assistance, and rent moratoriums; and ongoing support beyond the pandemic. TrustPlus is available on demand via phone, video, or text.
PerkUP CAFE is Neighborhood Trust’s latest cash relief plus financial coaching effort, providing workers with immediate cash relief and ongoing expert guidance to help them navigate the financial hardship many are facing due to the crisis. Since March, Neighborhood Trust has served over 5,000 people with cash relief or TrustPlus financial coaching.
In addition to providing financial assistance, PerkUp is partnering with Washington University, Common Cents Lab, and MetLife to conduct research on the effects of the pandemic on the financial lives of hospitality workers. Visit http://www.myperkup.com to learn more about PerkUp CAFE.