Company Gives Back to Laid Off Employees in South Florida

NBC Universal, Inc.

After laying off several employees across South Florida, one company is giving back.

SBE owns several hotels and restaurants in Miami and Miami Beach. 

“Anything helps right now,” said Mike Kostelnik, an SBE employee who was temporarily laid off. 

Him and about 300 other employees received care packages Thursday. The boxes were full of canned items, personal hygiene items, beverages and a $50 gift card. 

“This is a moment in time where you need to budget yourself,” said Kostelnik. “It could turn into 2-3 months and it’s something where $50 a day could always help out.” 

Without work, money has started to run out for Patricia Parra. 

“I have been scared because I don’t have money to go the the supermarket,” said Parra. 

She was one of the first in line. 

“In this moment everybody need food," she said. "Many people don’t have jobs.”  

SBE says it is important to take care of employees while many of them are not working at the moment.

“Out of passion, we care for people,” said Simon Sorpresi, a vice president at SBE. “Ultimately our employees are our biggest assets and we want to show our appreciation for the many many years that they put in with us working very hard. Right now, there’s not really any work and that’s the least we can do.” 

With no word on how long hotels and restaurants will be closed, the future is uncertain for SBE employees and their families. 

“As of now, we really want to keep our employees and that’s the first step of it,” said Sorpresi. “We almost have to take it day by day as things change very fluidly.”

Parra’s grateful for the help she got Thursday and any she may receive in the days or weeks to come. 

“I’m very appreciative to the government and everybody who gives support,” said Parra. 

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