ST. LOUIS — Stopping the spread of Coronavirus means shutting down bars, restaurants and storefronts — and there is the fear that some of them could close permanently.

The St. Louis Community Foundation’s Gateway Resilience Fund aims to provide short term relief for employees and owners of independent bars, restaurants and stores impacted by the coronavirus closures. According to its website, the foundation will post specific grant criteria and an application to receive funds shortly but is now accepting donations.

Gerard Craft, award-winning chef and co-owner of Niche Food Group, is working to spread the word of the fund and its ability to help during times that call for unprecedented and, in some cases, extreme measures.

“Everybody needs to go home," said Craft. He closed all of his restaurants this week so employees could practice social distancing, too. "When they say flatten the curve, unless you’re out there providing an essential service — and I don’t mean running a restaurant — I mean hospital workers, feeding people who can’t feed themselves, you know, you should go home.”

Beginning Friday, all food and drink establishments in the St. Louis area will be forced to shut down their dine-in service. Restaurants and bars only will be able to offer delivery, drive-thru, carry out and curbside service.

5 On Your Side has a list of restaurants and bars that will continue to provide food and drinks, click here for the latest updates.

Abby Llorico, host of the Abby Eats St. Louis podcast, also went through an extensive list of ways people in the St. Louis area can continue to support the local service industry. Click here to listen to the latest episode, titled 'Sending love in this crazy time,' or click play on the player below. The Abby Eats St. Louis podcast is available for free on all major podcast apps.

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