The festivities will also attempt to address the industry’s labor shortage, which Get Konnected! describes as “one of the biggest challenges facing restaurant owners today.”
We’re thrilled to hear that A Taste of Ethnic Boston is back and bigger than ever, complete with a reimagined bolstered mission.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the restaurant and hospitality industry—particularly those owned by BIPOC restaurateurs and in BIPOC neighborhoods,” reports Get Konnected!, a “social impact venture” built “to curate meaningful business and social connections.” “Unfortunately, several restaurants that participated in the Get Konnected!’s annual A Taste of Ethnic Boston have gone out of business and some are on the verge of closing.”
“This is why this year’s A Taste of Ethnic Boston is even more vital.”
For 2021’s high-stakes event, Get Konnected! is linking with Big Night Entertainment, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Boston Beer Company, Boston Black Hospitality Coalition, and NBC10 Boston to “spotlight, amplify, and support neighborhood food and beverage establishments,” as well as “encourage attendees of the year’s event to use the power of their purse to financially support these organizations by patronizing them after the event.”
The festivities will also attempt to address the industry’s labor shortage, which Get Konnected! describes as “one of the biggest challenges facing restaurant owners today.” Participating restaurants will be able to post job listings for free until Sept. 1 on the GK! Job Hub, while proceeds from the event will benefit the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition and the participating restaurants, all of which face major hurdles.
In Somerville and Cambridge specifically, we are now smack in the middle of the summertime “Dining Passport” program instituted by the Chambers of Commerce in those cities as a reimagination of their annual “Taste of” initiatives. “Dining Dollar Vouchers” are available through mid-August and will be valid Between September 1 and December 31, 2021, with 100% of passport proceeds going to local restaurant workers and nonprofit organizations.
“The initial list of participating restaurants features 25 establishments, including Craigie on Main, Hong Kong, and Puritan & Co in Cambridge along with Foundry on Elm, Saloon, and The Independent in Somerville.”
“The passport program is a ‘win-win-win’ initiative that directly benefits restaurants, hospitality workers and local diners,” said David Maher, president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber. “We are grateful for the opportunity to directly support restaurant workers in Cambridge and Somerville.”
The Dining Passport program is funded by the COVID Resilience & Recovery Urban Partnership, a “pilot collaboration between the Cambridge and Somerville chambers” that “will leverage a portion of a $160,000 grant award from the Baker-Polito administration, which was awarded to buoy economic empowerment and revitalization in both cities.”
“The Dining Passport program is exciting because it will help our local economies get back to work while providing relief for workers in the hard-hit hospitality sector,” said Stephen Mackey, President and CEO of the Somerville Chamber. “We are proud to offer this program to local diners.”