The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) announced yesterday that it has established the RI Hospitality Employee Relief Fund to benefit statewide foodservice, lodging and tourism employees who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 situation.

Rhode Island-based hospitality workers who have recently been laid off due to business closures and statewide restrictions imposed as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to receive up to $250.00 in financial assistance to help alleviate the burden of basic financial needs such as food, shelter, utilities, insurance and more.

“In these uncertain times, it’s critically important to work as a community,” said Heather Singleton, Chief Operating Officer, RI Hospitality Association and RI Hospitality Education Foundation in a news release. “The RI Hospitality Association is doing everything in our power to help those in our industry who are facing unexpected financial hardship and ask our fellow Rhode Islanders who have the means to do so to donate to this fund.”

Donations can be made to the fund through the RI Hospitality Education Foundation’s website. For more information, please contact Heather Singleton, Chief Operating Officer of RIHA and RIHEF, by calling 401-223-1120 x 110, or by emailing

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.