RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) –Richmond City Council will allocate $500,000 to create the Business Recovery Grant program, which will help businesses that were damaged during recent demonstrations within city limits. The move was requested by Mayor Levar Stoney.
“Though many protests have been peaceful, sporadic nights of severe property damage have hurt our small business community,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “These grants will help those establishments get back on their feet and send a message to the owners and employees of those businesses that they’re heard, they’re valued and we’re in this together.”
This new one-time program will award grants to local businesses, non-profits and commercial property owners. It will reimburse them for property damages incurred during recent demonstrations. The grants will award up to $10,000 to each individual property for expenses such as window replacement and graffiti removal.
Council approved the grant in a 7-2 vote on Monday. City council members Ellen Robertson and Michael Jones voted against it.
In a tweet, Jones said “ We have provided enough help to local businesses. We must help the families that are struggling to pay rent and buy food. I just helped hand out food to Richmonders who are struggling. I am empathetic to the business owners, I am. But enough is enough.”
The city said the program will be funded through the city’s Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) Program, and other grants will not be impacted by it.
The program guidelines will be posted on the city’s website and applications will begin to be accepted electronically starting August 13.