No! The Bartenders Benevolent Fund was initially created to support professional bartenders in Toronto, Ontario. However we have since grown, at first to include all Front of House staff: bartenders, servers and support staff from across Canada. In June 2020, we expanded to include Back of House professionals including chefs, line cooks, dish washers and bussers, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers. Applicants may qualify as long as they reside in Canada and can provide proof of their current/most recent employment and job title from any kind of licensed establishment.
WHO CAN APPLY TO OUR FUNDS AND PROGRAMS?
Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible for up to a maximum of $500 from our Emergency Relief Fund, and one award from our Food Insecurity and Pet Food Funds per month. Our programs may have different eligibility requirements.
WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO APPLY?
We need to confirm that you are a hospitality professional. This can be through either by a Record of Employment (ROE) or a pay stub (values may be blanked out) from your current/last place of work. Your name and address must be clearly visible on both. You do not need to be currently employed to apply, but you must have held a position within a Canadian venue with an active liquor license, for at least six months before the start of the first national lockdown, March 16th, 2020. However, there may be additional requirements depending on the program or fund.
CAN UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS APPLY FOR BBF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE?
We require a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from all successful applicants to the Emergency Relief Fund in order to issue a T4A form for CRA purposes. As a result, those without a valid SIN are ineligible to apply for our Emergency Relief Fund.
A SIN is not required for any of our other funds or programming however, including our Food Insecurity Fund.
WHO DECIDES HOW THE APPLICATIONS ARE PROCESSED?
Applications are reviewed following a process defined by our Board of Directors centred around protecting the privacy of those applying for support, and removing barriers to application.
Applications for our Food Insecurity Fund are awarded to qualifying applicants, at a maximum of one per month. Applications to our Emergency Relief Fund go directly to our Funding Officer who verifies your details, and then removes all identifying information before sharing them to the appropriate Disbursement or Review Panel, or processes the qualifying applications. Our panels are comprised of current industry professionals.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE MY INFORMATION REMAINS PRIVATE?
EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?
This fund is designed specifically to assist hospitality professionals residing in Canada in need. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers, are eligible. The Emergency Relief Fund is designed to help those who are experiencing severe difficulties in areas such as paying rent, covering medical bills or supporting dependants (child or adult). Applicants must have a valid SIN and reside in Canada.
HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?
Applications to our Emergency Relief Fund are graded in two parts: on an objective points system and peer reviewed by a panel of industry professionals from across Canada. This complete system takes into account factors such as your unique circumstances, other resources available in your area, past funds awarded from the BBF and the severity and urgency of your need. The score attributed to your application determines the amount of funding you are awarded, either $250 or $500.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR FUNDS TO BE ISSUED?
The entire process for the Emergency Relief Fund, from application to receiving funds can takes up to three weeks. Applications received prior to Friday at 11:59pm are processed by the Funding Officer and submitted to the Disbursement Panel for review by Sunday. The Panel grades the applications, their scores are averaged and added to the objective score and passed to our Fiscal Manager by Thursday. Successful applicants will be notified by the Bartenders Benevolent Fund and provided details of how to claim their funds via Plooto transfer. Applicants have 30 days to accept their award once notified. If an applicant fails to collect their award it will be returned to the fund, and the applicant will need to reapply.
WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE A SIN IF I AM APPROVED?
We need your SIN as we are required to report all financial assistance, and to whom it was paid, to the CRA. By taking your SIN we can properly report this, and submit to you and the CRA form: T4A, required for reporting on your income tax return next year.
DO I NEED TO REPORT THE FUNDING ON MY TAXES?
Yes. We will issue a T4A form (similar to how you would receive your T4 from a job).
WHY DO I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT PAST FUNDING RECEIVED?
The Bartenders Benevolent Fund is trying to reach as many people as possible and so have introduced monthly limits to the fund. If you have already been awarded the maximum amount of $500 in a month, you will need to wait until the following month to reapply.
DID THE TAX FORMS CHANGE?
When we became a national organization in March 2020, we were initially advised to provide a T5007 form to all successful applicants, and collect tax information to this end to complete tax slips for the 805 unique applicants from our first year in 2020. Unfortunately this form is reserved for governmental organizations and insurance companies of which the BBF is not. When our new accountant joined the fund as our Chartered Accountant in December 2020, we were advised that a T4a form is the appropriate one for a registered nonprofit as recommended by the CRA directly.
DO I GET TAXED ON AND AWARD FROM YOUR FUNDS?
Awards issued through our Emergency Relief Fund are not taxed, however they are classed as taxable income, just as CRB and EI are. So the awards given to our applicants are not subject to a tax i.e. your $250 does not become $200, but class as declarable taxable income. This award may therefore contribute toward putting an applicant over a tax bracket, just as the entirety of each applicant’s annual income would.
FOOD INSECURITY FUND
WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?
This fund is designed to assist hospitality professionals facing food insecurity. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible.
HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?
Assistance through this fund is awarded to all qualifying applicants on a first come, first serve basis. Once we have determined you qualify through the parameters provided on the funding page, the voucher of your choice will be issued via email.
WHERE CAN I USE MY FOOD VOUCHER
While we would love to work with local resources, it was important for us to be able to provide solutions accessible to people living all across Canada. As a result, we have partnered with EverythingCardwhich allows recipients to select from several retailers best suited to their needs.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THIS AWARD TO BE ISSUED?
This process will take a maximum of two weeks. Applications for this fund are collected at the end of each week, and the details within are checked and confirmed. Once validated, the notice of award is sent to our Fiscal Manager, and you will receive a message from EverythingCard to claim your voucher.
ABOUT THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A PAST APPLICATION?
I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION, WHO CAN I REACH OUT TO?
You can use the contact form on the Funds or Programs pages to reach out or you can email us at email@example.com. Messages through either means will be confidential and kept private from our Funding Officer and all members of the Disbursement or Review Panels to ensure it does not affect your application.
I'D LIKE TO WRITE A STORY ABOUT THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND, WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION?
At the Bartenders Benevolent Fund, we're always working to champion Canada's amazing hospitality community, as well as to expand our reach so we can help those most in need. Our communications team is happy to work with journalists from all over to help share the unique stories of our industry. If you're a member of the media and have questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DOES THE BBF DEVELOP ITS PROGRAMMING?
Our programming is designed based on the needs of the industry, as indicated to us via the applications we receive, the information we collect from partner organizations, and data collection agencies such as Statistics Canada. Once we isolate a need within the hospitality community, we recruit a committee of hospitality professionals from across the country to work together towards designing, implementing and activating a program that addresses the need.
I WOULD LIKE TO. GET INVOLVED WITH THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND, HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE FUND?
There are many ways to get involved with the Bartenders Benevolent Fund: as a volunteer on one of our panels or committees, by organizing a fundraiser or by donating. Find out more here.
CAN I GET A TAX RECEIPT FOR MY DONATION TO THE BBF?
The Bartenders Benevolent Fund is a nationally registered not-for-profit, and as such cannot issue tax receipts.