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Norfolk businesses offer help to Spirit of Norfolk employees looking for work

After a fire tore through the Spirit of Norfolk, business owners said their next thought was: what happens next for the workers?

NORFOLK, Va. — The scene of the Spirit of Norfolk with charred edges is catching the eyes of many across Hampton Roads, but especially here in the heart of Norfolk.

RELATED: AUDIO: Distress call from Spirit of Norfolk

Brick Anchor Brew House Manager Jonathon Almodovar said he quickly thought about the employees when he heard the Spirit of Norfolk is likely a loss.

"I would imagine with that ship, from what it looks like, completely gone...they're going to be looking for work," said Almodovar. "It's tough for those people to have a solidified job and wake up one day and their job is no longer guaranteed." 

Almodovar said he and other business owners are looking to help, which includes offering positions at their businesses to the workers who need them.

"Best thing I can say is if anyone's looking for a job, whether it's serving, bartending, even down to food running, feel free to contact us and we will help out in any way that we can," he said.

It's the same for Executive Chef Eddie Lee with Town Point Club, who said he wants to make sure the Spirit of Norfolk employees know they have support in this industry.

"We like to extend some local kindness and be able to help anyone in the food, beverage, and hospitality staff who need any type of employment," said Lee. "No one should have to go without a paycheck because of a disaster like this." 

Almodovar said his team has plenty of openings due to staffing shortages, which would make this initiative benefit everyone involved.

"It's a win-win because it gives us employees to take care of anyone who walks in the door and it also gives us a sense of pride in helping the community. We wouldn't be here without them," said Almodovar.

When asked what's next for the cruise ship employees, the managers of the Spirit of Norfolk sent the following statement regarding the fire investigation:

“As the investigation remains ongoing regarding Tuesday’s marine incident with the Spirit of Norfolk, our booked guests who were impacted by the incident are being contacted directly to either rebook their experience for a future date, or cancel and receive a full refund for those bookings through Sunday, June 12. 

We are in the process of moving guests from the ‘Spirit of Norfolk’ to the ‘Freedom Elite’ to accommodate those affected through Sunday, June 12. Future group bookings in Norfolk are momentarily on hold through Thursday, June 30.

We are looking at getting back to operations as quickly as possible and will be moving another of our vessels to Norfolk to accommodate our summer bookings.  We will share more information as it becomes available.

We extend our thanks to our Crew, the Norfolk Navy Station, the Coast Guard and our local fire departments, as well as the Victory Rover, for working so quickly to ensure that all our guests and crew made it safely ashore during Tuesday’s incident.”

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