Thursday, June 4, 2015

City's Minority Business Development Holds Third Money Smart for Small Business Program Graduation

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City’s Office of Minority Business Development recently held a graduation ceremony for the third round of participants who have successfully completed the City’s Money Smart for Small Business program. The Money Smart program is a nationally acclaimed, comprehensive financial education curriculum developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the U.S. Small Business Administration, to assist minority and emerging small businesses in specific areas that will increase their ability to be sustainable and successful.

“The Money Smart for Small Business program provides small and minority owned businesses with a wealth of business resources and knowledge which strengthens the diversity of businesses, consumers and employers. Entrepreneurship and a vibrant small business community are vital components in our efforts to reduce poverty and the city’s unemployment rate,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

Since the program’s 2012 inception, the 10-module training curriculum provides introductory training for small businesses in the basics of organizing and managing a business and prepares entrepreneurs for more advanced training and technical assistance. The modules are: organization types, time management, financial management, record keeping, banking services available for small businesses, credit reporting, risk management, insurance, tax planning and reporting, and selling a small business and succession planning.

“I would like to personally thank Wells Fargo, State Farm, Money Management, and all of our partners who volunteered their time and teaching talents to this program,” said Pat Foster, interim director of Minority Business Development. “We are proud of all of the Money Smart program’s graduates and the overall program success as we celebrate its third year.”

The Office of Minority Business Development will offer additional Money Smart for Small Business programs this year in addition to other technical assistance classes and individual counseling. For more information, contact Minority Business Development at (804)646-5947 or visit

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Richmond Fire Encourages Everyone to Practice Water Safety This Summer

The City’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services will be operating a two person bike team on Saturdays and Sundays through Monday, September 7, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Belle Isle. These teams have had a direct impact on the safety of visitors and they will serve as water safety ambassadors during peak season. This year alone, the department has responded to 30 emergency calls resulting in 24 people rescued from the James River, two body recoveries, and responding to four good intent calls.

The James River Park System is Richmond's largest, most unique and best known park and receives well over 500,000 visitors a year. It is actually a system of parks along both sides of the James River as it passes through the city, making Richmond the only urban city in the country with Class IV white water rapids in the middle of downtown. Regardless of its natural beauty, there are many dangers when visiting the James River or any body of water. Here are some water safety tips we recommend you follow:
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well and swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near or in water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone, supervise them!
  • By law, when the James River water levels are at 5 feet and above, everyone on the river must wear a lifejacket. When water levels are at 9 feet or above, no one is allowed on the river without a permit.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious wading around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • Never mix alcohol and water activities as it impairs judgment, balance and coordination, swimming skills, reduces the body’s ability to stay warm, and isn’t allowed in city parks.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or utilize the local emergency call system.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
For more information on the Park services, visit