RICHMOND, Va. -- We see the headlines and hear the stories as COVID-19 ravages our community.
Every day local families and businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Many, just wondering where to turn.
Richmond city leaders say they too, have heard the cries for help and continue to reach out to businesses and families in need.
“People need to be able to have money to pay their rent, money for food to feed their families, and pay their bills,” Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson said.
The 6th District rep said that is why she wanted to make sure city businesses and families knew about their efforts to help.
Recently the City of Richmond made a $500,000 donation into the Robins Foundation Family Crisis Fund.
The fund will provide a one-time $500 payment to eligible Richmond families with children that have lost income due to COVID-19.
Robertson said the city’s donation will go towards helping Richmond residents with the greatest needs. They're encouraged to apply through the Office of Community Wealth Building.
"People who have lost their jobs. Folks with children. Kids are out of school. Feeding children all day long isn’t the same as feeding them when they are in school. Not having childcare. We just want to be really sensitive that we are providing as much support as we can," she said. "$500 is not a lot of money based on the need that is out there, but Richmond is doing everything it can to reach out and address the need."
Small Business Loans
Robertson said the city is also offering a small business loan program. It can provide city businesses who qualify, up to $20,000.
To be eligible, businesses must have employees and have been operating for two years.
Robertson said some businesses were hitting a snag because they were not submitting all required documents needed to finalize the no interest loan.
“They will not evaluate the application until all of the supporting documents are there, so it’s very important for businesses to send in a full application," she said. "Loans are administered by the city. Staff members are reviewing the applications and making the awards, so we do not have to go through another lending institution. This cuts down on timing and we want to get them out on the streets."
The City of Richmond and the Robins Foundation continue to accept donations for the Family Crisis Relief fund so that they can help more families in our region. If you would like to donate, go to www.robinsfdn.org.
As for those no interest small business loans being offered by the city, so far 62 businesses have applied. The city’s Economic Development Director told the CBS 6 Problem Solvers that more than half of the applications were incomplete. The city has approved eight loans and applications are still being accepted.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.