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City of Richmond Economic Development Authority approves use of CARES Act funds to convert business loans into grants

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) of the City of Richmond authorized giving participants who have already received a loan through the Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program the option to convert those loans to grants.  The city has allocated $1 million of its total $20.1 million federal CARES Act appropriation to the EDA to pay for the program.“Earlier in the year, the EDA stepped up in a big way and provided a loan program to help small businesses keep employees on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “With this funding from the city, the EDA will be able to forgive those loans, hopefully relieving some stress on those same businesses.”To date, the EDA has approved 48 loans, totaling $934,920.John Molster, Chair of the EDA stated, “The EDA enthusiastically provided a zero percent interest rate solution to help small business in the city, and we’re glad that those loans can now be repaid with the CARES Act appropriation. We look forward to figu…

Stoney administration commits $25-50M for commemoration, memorialization of “complete history”

First investment of $3.5M to fund Shockoe Area Memorial Park campus
Surrounded by members of the Shockoe Alliance, Mayor Stoney committed to funding a capital improvement budget amendment of between $25 and 50 million in the city’s five-year CIP plan specifically for the commemoration and memorialization of Richmond’s complete history.The mayor asserted that the shared priority of the Shockoe Alliance and city leadership is embracing and telling the truth about Richmond’s history, centralizing the turmoil, resistance, resilience and triumphs of Black Richmond.“Black lives built this city. Black lives have defined Richmond’s history. They matter,” said the mayor. “The story of Black lives should span our skyline, our landscape and our textbooks accordingly.”Priority investments will include the Shockoe Area, various African American burial grounds and the Slave Trail. The effort will begin with a $3.5 million investment in the Shockoe Area Memorial Park.The memorial park, a vision devel…

Mayor Stoney details paving plans, progress at Chippenham project site

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Mayor Stoney visited the Department of Public Works (DPW) crews paving along Richmond’s segment of Chippenham Parkway Tuesday evening.The Chippenham Parkway paving project spans nearly 20 lane miles and constitutes a $1.5 million investment in the roads of the Southside. To minimize congestion along the major thoroughfare, the bulk of the paving is being done at night.  The mayor also provided a summary of paving progress made throughout FY2020, noting that light traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic facilitated efficient work.“I’m all about looking for the silver lining in this new normal, determining how we can work together to turn a bad situation into a productive one,” said the mayor. “The work done on our roads is a great example of that.”In FY2020, the city paved over 320 lane miles. That work constituted a roughly $22 million-dollar investment: $15 million from the CIP budget, $1 million in state revenue funds and $6 million in various DPW and Department of Public Utilities fun…

City to extend cooling station hours during heat advisories

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In light of the recent extreme temperatures in the area, the Stoney administration is extending cooling station hours from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. to 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. while a heat advisory is in effect in the City of Richmond.When the cooling station is open, but a heat advisory is not in effect, visitors will be welcome from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.“This is a change rooted in compassion and common sense,” said Mayor Stoney. “I know how hot this city can get during the summer. Nobody should risk heat stroke because they are experiencing homelessness or lack access to adequate air conditioning.”“It’s the city’s job to step in, reach out a helping hand and prioritize public health.”During the extent of the governor’s mask mandate, all residents who wish to use the cooling shelters must wear face coverings and practice social distancing where possible.For more information regarding cooling assistance services, city residents should contact the city’s Department of Social Services Fuel Assistance Offic…

Historic Jackson Ward to begin Residential Parking Permit Enforcement

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A residential parking district will begin operating soon in the Historic Jackson Ward. From September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021, the two-hour parking time limit is from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, except for vehicles displaying a valid permit. Permits must be renewed annually.This permanent change in parking is the result of a vote by the Historic Jackson Ward Association in 2019 to create a residential parking permit district. On May 26, 2020 City Council adopted ordinance No. 2020-112 to establish the district and limit parking on the block faces as set forth in the ordinance.Parking decals for residents of the restricted parking district will be available for sale starting August 1, 2020 and will cost $25 each. Decals are limited to three per house or building address. Residents and property owners must display the permit on their cars to park more than 2 hours. Annual Visitor Passes, which cost $35 each, are also a…

Stoney administration launches rent relief program for qualified immigrant families

Stoney administration launches rent relief program for qualified immigrant families
Today, the city launched a program to provide rent and mortgage assistance to non-citizen and mixed immigration status households in Richmond. This program is designed to support those Richmonders excluded from federal assistance due to their immigration status.The program is made possible by a $250,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations, a non-profit organization based in New York dedicated to providing assistance to groups excluded from federal assistance, such as non-citizens, mixed-status families and those with limited English proficiency working in domestic service jobs and other essential industries.To assist as many households as possible, funds per household will be limited to $1500 or up to two months of rent, whichever is less. This support program is intended to aid households who are having trouble paying rent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants who have not received…

Mayor Stoney names members of Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety

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Today Mayor Stoney announced the members of the Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety and outlined his primary requests of the diverse group of professionals. The majority of task force members stood with the mayor for the announcement.“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but this group’s diversity of expertise and lived experiences is a key asset on our path forward,” said the mayor. “I am thrilled to have this team help our city heal.”The members of the task force bring an array of perspectives from activist, legal, academic, law enforcement, emergency services, artistic, healthcare and other fields. At the close of a 45-day period, the task force will bring the mayor a set of actionable steps forward to build a safer city for all. “After additional conversations and review of actions taken in other cities, I do not believe we can wait to begin acting on reform recommendations,” said Mayor Stoney. “I have asked this task force to report back with initial recommendations within 45 da…