NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While the honky-tonks on lower Broadway sit dark and lifeless killing the income of thousands of employees, some business owners are stepping up to help.
John Rich of Redneck Riviera said there was no question, as he knew he had to help.
“We consider our employees to be like our family members, you know we look out for them and they look out for us,” Rich told News 2.
Rich said he has around 80 employees at the bar in Music City.
“We are going to go into our own pockets and pay them. Nashville is built on musicians, it’s built on creative people. That’s why everybody comes to Nashville, is to hear live music so those folks have got to eat, they gotta stay intact while we are going through this and that’s why we are looking out for them.”
The country artist says he immediately decided he would take care of the bartenders, servers, cooks, all the staff by continuing to pay them their average income during this trying time.
“Those are some of the most hard-working people you will meet that work down on Broadway. They work like animals down there; double shifts, triple shifts, these are people that love what they do and they love our town and we gotta not let anything happen to them in this phase that we are going through right now,” said Rich.
It’s a similar move Dierks Bentley of Whiskey Row committed to, offering $1,000 to each of his employees and it’s a move Rich hopes others will follow.
“I would put out a challenge to the businesses up and down Broadway that they do the same thing. You know all those bars and restaurants on Broadway, they do extremely well, they do good business, really strong business and yeah they are all taking a hit right now, but people are important. You can’t forget about your people and when something like this happens it changes the rules and I’m hoping other business owners will follow our lead and take care of their people to.”
Rich said he also plans to open the bar for his musicians to play set without an audience, by live streaming. A VENMO account will allow viewers across the world to tip online. Rich himself will also be playing a set. He will release those details soon.