MIAMI – A globally known South Florida powerhouse couple is stepping in to help hundreds of workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emilio and Gloria Estefan have partnered with a major pharmacy store to make sure their employees are taken care of.
Like so many other business owners in the service and hospitality industries, the Estefan's were devastated when they basically had to shut down service at their restaurants and hotels.
"The hardest thing has been the restaurant business," said Emilio. "You lose a lot of the waiters, a lot of the kitchen (staff)."
Their restaurants in South Florida can still offer takeout and delivery, but with dining rooms shut down at locations locally and in Orlando, as well as the forced closure of two hotels, it meant around 300 employees were suddenly out of a job.
"It's no way we could hold everybody," said Emilio. "We had so many employees, but at least we kept some of the people working.
Tha's when Emilio had an idea; he heard CVS, which also owns CVS Y Mas and Navarro Discount Pharmacies, were desperate for help.
On Monday, the company put a help wanted post on its website, saying it was looking to hire 50,000 people in response to the pandemic. After seeing that, Emilio knew just who to call.
"I said I know you have an association with CVS," said Emilio. "I have an idea, and they came through. They called right away saying we're willing to take the help and I think it's a message of hope."
Just like that, all Estefan displaced employees were already being screened by CVS and are expected to be matched with new jobs within the next two days.
And for so many others out there in the South Florida community struggling with this strange new reality, Emilio says don't lose faith. Stay positive, no matter what.
“Me and Gloria, we went through a lot in our lives, and we had to ‘Get On Your Feet’ many times in our lives,” he said. “We’re going to go through rough times, but I believe in the spirit of the country. I believe in America.”