Thousands lose jobs after coronavirus precautions hit the hospitality industry

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hundreds of thousands of people have lost jobs across the country due to the coronavirus closures. In Middle Tennessee, the hospitality industry has taken a huge hit, people losing incomes overnight.

Nashville resident Wyatt Harvey didn’t just lose one job in a single day — he lost four.

“My first to go was pinewood social where I was serving for some time now and I was kind of waiting to see if my other three jobs would hang out,” Harvey told News 2.

But as COVID-19 precautions closed up shops and canceled events, he also lost his serving position at Yellow Porch restaurant, a sound engineer on Broadway, and a State Farm brand ambassador at big events.

“I feel like every day has been consumed with me trying to scramble and figure out what the next step for me and my family,” Harvey said.

Ashlee Jordan was a VIP host for TC Restaurant Group at Jason Aldean’s, Luke Bryan’s, and FGL House— all, closed, indefinitely. Employees received this email Wednesday to file for unemployment.

“I filed for unemployment, that was the first thing I did, but I found out the max is 275 a week, which I think probably hasn’t been updated in a while, I don’t know because I can’t even pay my rent,” Jordan said, “So I was like okay, I have a little bit of savings to get me through.”

So now she’s getting creative, “I’m trying to be proactive so I don’t burn through everything,” she said, “So I just started selling empanadas ’cause I’m like– ‘I know how to cook.'”

Empanadas for donations, she says.

While a newly formed group called Tennessee Action for Hospitality petitions Governor Bill Lee for changes, including upping unemployment to 75 percent, thousands of people continue to look for alternative work.

“I’ve been actually spending today searching for a new job for the moment,” Harvey said, “I could either find a new job or file for unemployment, I’ll probably first try to stick out to see if I can get a new job at a grocery store or something just to see if I can contribute to the great cause and help people.”

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