The Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant Event Center, Opened Their Doors To Those Who Need It The Most
What started as a regular afternoon drive for Winnipeg businessman Ravi Ramberran, turned out to be something much more. While tuning in to a local radio station, Ravi heard the stories of a few brave individuals that were the victims of domestic violence.
Call it fate or a moment of divine intervention, Mr Ramberran knew that moment he had to help in any way possible. What Mr Ramberran did next was not only profound; it was the most enduring act a small business owner can perform in the middle of a pandemic.
Mr Ramberran took to social media and posted the following message;
“Now that domestic violence is an even more serious concern, I’m offering my available hotel rooms for a temporary escape with a warm meal. Call Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant at 204-589-7314.
We work closely with our Police District to help protect you. We will call every helpline we can for you and ensure you are anonymous. All we ask is that you’re sober and respectful of the staff and hotel.
We will work to get you help. This is even an offer to my friends who may not want to speak up. I promise I won’t say a word to anyone we may know. I will contact resources and police to help you but that’s it.
Although we are struggling as a business, we still have space to help our community. We can’t afford to be spending any extra money on these things but we can put someone safely in a room with a locked door with something to eat.
If you would like to support us, please do so by ordering takeout and keeping our staff employed. Only with the help of the staff can we pull off supporting our community the way we do.
Please see some resources below as well. There are some great phone numbers there to help too. https://www.winnipeg.ca/police/protection/domestic.stm.“
Mr Ramberran owns the Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant Event Center in Winnipeg. Like other small businesses across Canada, they too are feeling the pinch financially from the lockdown brought on by the coronavirus.
“In these uncertain times, as a business owner, I need to do everything to keep the doors open and my staff employed. I also need to help my community in any way I can.
We have a few vacant rooms in my hotel due to the pandemic. We would preferably put them to use where they can help somebody in need.”, Said Mr Ramberran
This small gesture by the Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant gave people hope knowing someone cares about their wellbeing. It is an act of kindness for an establishment to offer refuge to strangers in the middle of a pandemic.
Within hours of Ravi’s social media post, he received several phone calls for assistance. They were calls from people that have been subjected to domestic violence and could use a hot meal and a night to gather themselves.
“I was surprised to see that so many of the guests we took in were not aware of some of the resources available to them or places they can go to get help. It’s a great feeling to know you can help someone when you are in a position to do so.”, Said Mr Ramberran
The Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant, with many small businesses, is not immune to the impacts of the coronavirus. With the lockdown, they too have seen a significant drop in revenues brought on by social distancing and recent lockdowns.
“I need to do everything I can to keep my employees working. They are more than just staff; they’re my family. I am fortunate to have the best group of people surrounding me every day.” Said Mr Ramberran.
With income coming in slowly from takeout orders, the Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant received a lifeline through the federal government’s COVID-19 business loan program.
The business did not qualify for any of the provincial programs once it accepted help from the federal government.
“We are aware of a new grant opening up on Monday by the province of Manitoba and are hoping we qualify for some additional assistance because every bit helps.” Said, Mr Ramberran
“Supporting Canada’s small businesses is critical to minimize the negative impact the coronavirus is having on our economy. Small business loans and the wage subsidy program are saving hundreds of thousands of jobs and thousands of companies all over Canada.” Said Member of Parliament Kevin Lamoureux, Winnipeg North
The Four Crowns Hotel & Restaurant needed to supplement their lost revenues from the closure of their dining room which took some creativity. Owner Ravi organized and sold tickets to host the first drive-in movie night in the restaurant’s parking lot that was to take place on Friday the 13th. Sadly, due to the provincial code red lockdown, the event had to be cancelled out of respect for the law and public safety.
“The drive-in movie idea was perfect. It adhered to all the social distancing guidelines which would have allowed Winnipeggers to take a few moments to remember what it was like for things to be normal.” Said, Ravi
After they cancelled the event, Ravi called everyone that had purchased a ticket to offer a full refund. However, his patrons’ said to leave the ticket sales on file as store credit so they could use it to support the business.
“I’m touched”, Said Mr Ramberran. My city has never let me down. That is why I want to give back to my community.
We asked Mr Ramberran why he chose the old Lincoln Hotel to renovate? He said, “because the area is such a beautiful community. I saw the potential in such a beautiful building.”
Mr Ramberran is also co-owner of St James Burgers which was recently named one of the best burger joints in the city. Ravi’s willingness to serve his community is truly genuine and commendable.
He credits his success to hard work, family and a city that has given him everything. He also expressed his admiration for his fellow restauranteurs doing their best to support their passion and keep him humbled.