British company launches NT$18 million recovery fund to help bars, restaurants in Taiwan

'Pubs, bars, and restaurants are an integral part of our communities, and the revival of this sector is vital to the economy': Diageo Taiwan

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A bar in Tainan, Taiwan. 

A bar in Tainan, Taiwan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Diageo Taiwan on Monday (June 29) announced Raising the Bar, an NT$18 million (US$610,542) program committed to supporting local bars, pubs, and restaurants as they welcome customers back for a full economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

Raising the Bar builds on the London-based beverage alcohol company's local initiatives to support communities in Taiwan, such as with its recent donation of NT$3 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The commitment is part of alcoholic beverage powerhouse Diageo's US$100 million set of programs to help pubs and bars recover from the coronavirus by supporting jobs and communities worldwide, including in the Taiwanese cities of Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung; Hong Kong; India's New Delhi and Mumbai; Sydney, Australia; and Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in China. The program will kick off in July and run for two years.

"The pandemic has forced the closure of cities and the adoption of social distancing measures, and behaviors like panic buying have further increased the distance between people. Thanks to the front-line medical workers, the national mask team working around the clock, and the general public's cooperation to prevent the spread of the virus, life in Taiwan now is relatively safe," said Atul Chhaparwal, managing director of Diageo Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

He added that the company will also support these efforts and invest its resources in pursuit of a 'return to normalcy.'

The Raising the Bar program in Taiwan will support qualified bars, pubs, and restaurants over a period of two years with targeted non-cash support needed for outlets to re-open and transition to business-as-usual free of charge. The hospitality industry lost an unprecedented amount of revenue over the last few months, and this has impacted many small- and medium-sized businesses as well as the livelihoods of millions of people.

"Pubs, bars, and restaurants are an integral part of our communities, and the revival of this sector is vital to the economy," according to a press release from the company. "With Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung as the target recipients of the 'Raising the Bar' program, Diageo Taiwan will help the island country transition to the post-pandemic era."