Today was the hardest day in our history as a company.
It was crucial that we speak with our team before we spoke with our members out of respect for these employees. Now, it’s time to speak with all of you.
In the last three years, we’ve seen friendships form, businesses launch, and babies take their first steps at The Wing. Members have gone into labor here, been inspired to run for office, and come together to find sanctuary in the hardest of times. It hasn’t been perfect. But it’s been important, and profound.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, came a global crisis the likes of which no one has ever seen.
The impact of this pandemic is tearing apart businesses around the world, and we are no different. Three weeks ago, we made the decision to close our spaces. It was the right thing to do. We also suspended members’ dues, knowing that many of you have been financially impacted by this crisis. This was also the right thing to do.
When we first announced these closures we anticipated reopening within a few weeks. Under those circumstances, we could keep our staff whole. But the situation has changed so quickly and in ways we couldn’t have expected. Ninety-five percent of our revenue disappeared overnight.
Just a few weeks ago we were talking about where we were going to open next. Now we simply don’t know when we will reopen again.
To preserve our ability to rebuild when this crisis is over, we have been forced to make drastic and devastating decisions. Today, we laid off or furloughed the majority of The Wing’s employees.
We have explored many different options to keep our team together and stay solvent. We have foregone our own salaries, reduced others and sought relief from the federal government. But even in the best-case scenario, without taking these extreme measures, The Wing would have to close down this year.
We are providing our staff with two months of severance and covering 100 percent of their health care through June, as well as memberships to One Medical for full-time employees, which provides concierge health care and mental health services. We will provide free access to career and personal coaching and guides to access unemployment benefits. We have also created an Employee Relief Fund to which our founders, investors, and remaining employees will be contributing to. If you would like to support employees directly, please give here.
This was the most difficult decision we have ever made.
Our goal is to re-open our spaces as soon as we can and to continue to connect with you through our digital community.
As we told our staff today, we are living in a moment that has brought the world, our economy, and so many of us to our knees. It is hard to feel hope.
But even as we have arrived here at a place where so much is ending, please know that what we have created together is enduring. A community grounded in friendships, laughter, creation and first steps. Where women felt seen and held. It is important and transcendent. We are profoundly grateful to our entire community for your contributions and dedication.
We’ll be back. And we’ll be better. And while our hearts are broken, we are not giving up.
Thank you for believing in The Wing.
Thank you for believing in community.
Thank you for being part of ours.
Audrey and Lauren