Miami, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- Diageo – the maker of Smirnoff vodka, Johnny Walker Scotch whisky and Bailey’s, the world’s best-selling liqueur – will allocate $100 million to help pubs and bars around the world recover economically from the obligatory shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic so that they can begin hosting customers safely.
The multinational alcoholic beverage manufacturer, via its “Raising the Bar” program, announced that the participating bars and pubs will have access to physical equipment to implement social distancing measures, free online support, training and no-contact technology.
“We know the essential thing for these businesses is to foster getting together and celebration, something that’s part of our culture and that we miss today,” said Alberto Gavazzi, president of Diageo for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The program will begin in July and will run for two years.
Diageo designed “Raising the Bar” after conducting a global survey of bar owners to identify their priorities for reopening.
Their main priorities included hygiene measures, online support and equipment to transform their business operations at the time they reopen.
“At Diageo Latin America and the Caribbean we’re listening firsthand to the needs of our business allies, like bars, who belong to one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic,” Gavazzi said.
Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Sidney are just some of the cities where the program will be implemented.
Of the $100 million allocated for “Raising the Bar,” $20 million will be destined for establishments in the US.
The initiative is part of assorted other activities that the company has launched as per its commitment to local communities, including those in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In Colombia, the firm launched a free educational initiative where more than 5,500 bartenders and waiters have the chance to get further training via courses, earning certificates that can strengthen their professional standing.
The company also announced an initiative to provide economic support, certification and training courses for more than 10,000 workers in the sector in Mexico.
In Brazil, the firm has donated hand sanitizer and launched a financial support fund, along with offering training for bartenders.
“With this initiative, we’re looking to support the reactivation of a key sector for the creation of jobs and the economic recovery of the region,” Gavazzi said.
Starting June 24, 2020, the owners of bars and pubs interested in participating in the program will be able to sign up via www.diageobaracademy.com.
The owners will receive updates about best practices as part of their training and will be able to participate in global surveys to share their knowledge and learning so that they can shore up their businesses.
To be allowed to participate, the business must be properly registered as a legal entity (for tax purposes) in its jurisdiction and must have been operating for a minimum of 12 months before the introduction of restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Establishments must also have a beer and/or liquor license or the equivalent and the owner must undertake at least one project to help the community, such as promoting social inclusion and diversity, creating jobs or training and skill-set teaching for disadvantaged groups or communities.
In addition, owners must promote the responsible consumption of alcohol and combating the harm it can cause along with anti-social behavior.
The World Labor Organization has forecast that 436 million businesses around the world are facing serious difficulties amid the Covid-19 pandemic and projections are that one in every six young people is – or will become – unemployed as a result of the economic damage arising from the coronavirus.