RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said that he wants to see a “slow and steady” approach to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and beginning phase one of the reopening process. Meanwhile some businesses are gearing up to reopen in order to start making a profit after weeks of stalled business.
"The longer this thing plays out the, puts more more strain on small businesses," ChamberRVA President and CEO Brian Anderson said. “We have about 670 members of which about two thirds are considered small businesses or less than 50 employees."
Anderson said that he’s seen firsthand the toll that Virginia's shut down has taken on small business owners.
“So far we’ve only heard from a few that have decided to close their doors and we’ll wait and see what happens and we’ll wait and see what happens in a few months," Anderson said.
Governor Northam has said that the date that Virginia will begin to reopen is May 15. Anderson believes businesses will approach the process slowly.
“You’ll see some that really are going to open up right away," Anderson said. "You’ll see another third that may wait another two weeks and then open and then some are going to wait another month.”
On Thursday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he agrees that the process should be a slow roll.
“We are certainly heading into a recession," Stoney said. "That is certainly about to happen. And I firmly believe that underutilized land that the city owns could be potentially used as a stimulus to our economy. “
Anderson said it will be up to business owners to decide if they want to open back up.
“It’s really up to the business owners feelings about the orders, but also about what they think they can do to protect their employees and their customers," Anderson added.