RICHMOND, Va. -- The City of Richmond announced $1.32 million in grant funding that would be awarded to over 100 Richmond businesses through the Richmond Recovers Grant program.
The city said 123 grant applicants, 42 of which restaurants, have been approved. Money from the grants can be used for rent, mortgage, and to pay employees.
“This grant program is providing much needed financial relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that have lost revenue due to COVID-19,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a press release. “We will continue our efforts to make more financial resources available to help our Richmond businesses.”
John Taxin, the owner of Bookbinders Seafood and Steakhouse in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom, said he believed the grant money came at a much needed time.
"Hey that’s great, that can pay for a month’s rent, but it’s not going to have the same effect that the PPP did, but hey, this is the City of Richmond, and anything they can do to help businesses are great," Taxin said.
Taxin is one of hundreds of business owners across the state trying to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virginia is still in Phase 2 of reopening and restaurants can only operate at 50 percent capacity.
Taxin said he worried that the colder seasons will impact restaurant sales.
“When it gets cold out, we’re not going to have that outdoor seating so that’s when the real challenge comes to survive," Taxin said. “I see so many restaurants have closed down. I got to tell you I’m shocked that not more restaurants have closed."
The city said the Richmond Recovers Program still has $1.63 million to hand out. The application deadline for the Richmond Recovers Grant Program has been extended to Monday, October 19, 2020.