The program aims to build on local initiatives to support communities by aiding with equipment, digital skills and more. By Holly Graham.

Diageo has announced a USD$100 million recovery fund to aid bars post COVID-19 lockdowns. The scheme, though global, will also support bar communities across Asia including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taipei, Taichung, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

Raising the Bar aims to build on local initiatives to aid communities; supporting the cost of practical equipment for outlets to implement new social distancing measures, digital skills training and contactless technology.

Available from July 2020, the two-year programme was created after a global survey of bar owners identified what they needed to reopen after lockdown, which included hygiene measures, digital support and equipment to change how their venues function now that social distancing measurements are in place.

Bar owners in selected markets will be able to register their interest for the program at Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training and resources, and will be able to participate in global surveys to share insights as they rebuild their businesses.

To be eligible to participate in the US$100 million of targeted support from the Raising the Bar programme, outlets must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be registered as a legal entity (for tax purposes) or equivalent in each jurisdiction
  • Must have been operating for minimum period of 12 months before introduction of any national or local lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19, affecting its ability to operate in a business as usual manner
  • Must have a beer and/or spirits licence or equivalent
  • Must demonstrate at least one way in which they currently are or planning to “Raise the Bar” in their community, including: promoting inclusion and diversity and job-creation in disadvantaged communities; promoting positive drinking and tackling harm or anti-social behaviour; focusing on sustainability or community support; and providing skills training, especially to those from disadvantaged groups

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