Friday, 18 September 2020

Fulton: Help offered for Lake County’s laid-off restaurant, lodging workers

In late March following the shelter in place order, Andy Beckstoffer called me to lay out a program his company was offering to laid-off workers in three counties including Lake County.

His program request was extremely heartwarming and simple, I thought! Gather the names of two of the lowest-paid employees of each restaurant and each lodging facility, provide their names, direct mailing addresses, job description, length of time with the business, weekly average pay, were they laid off or had reduced hours. Andy was in hopes that other companies would make similar offers.

My first thought was, “What a wonderful gesture!” My second thought was, “It will be a breeze to give away $33,000 in Lake County,” and how quickly would we fill up those 110 slots?

Much to my surprise, it’s been a struggle to get employers to respond. We immediately published it to every community business association requesting they distribute to their memberships, it also went to the Clear Lake Chamber and to our membership plus many emails of businesses that are not Lake County Chamber members. We placed the notice more than once on our Facebook page asking people to share.

We have published this information a multitude of times since March 24, sending it to local newspapers and I contacted Bicoastal Media about two weeks ago. They made a public service announcement that has been aired multiple times. To my utter amazement, there are still 41 open slots on my spreadsheet!

To clarify the role of the Lake County Chamber in this process, I offer the following: The chamber is only a conduit of information from the employers to Andy Beckstoffer and his firm. Beckstoffer Vineyards is in charge of issuing the checks directly to the employees whose names/info we supply. The chamber does not pick or choose which employees and to my understanding every name we submit is being sent a check.

I truly hope that this letter to the editor will encourage businesses who have not responded yet, to contact me directly at 707-263-5092 with their employee submissions, providing the information I outlined above. Your employees who have been out of work can certainly use a $300 check.

Beckstoffer Vineyards began issuing checks the week of April 20 and will continue until the limit of 110 people is reached per county. You can also send your names to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Melissa Fulton is chief executive officer of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, based in Lakeport, California.

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19Sep
09.19.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
20Sep
09.20.2020 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Democratic Party virtual fundraiser 
22Sep
09.22.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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Lakeport Police medication collection
23Sep
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Library hosts ‘Zoom with the Director’ 
24Sep
09.24.2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lakeport Police medication collection
24Sep
09.24.2020 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
Dine Out with Hospice
26Sep
09.26.2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
29Sep
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Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
29Sep
09.29.2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lakeport Police medication collection

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