‘Richmond’s restaurants struggle to stay alive,’ says mayoral candidate
1/25/2024, 6 p.m.
Richmond continues to attract new business and investment, create jobs, and provide an invigorating economic climate for expansion—but once businesses decide to invest in Richmond, we need to treat them better.
Take restaurants, for example. We have great ones all over the city, and they make Richmond a great place to live. But we also have the second highest meals tax in Virginia. When the tax was raised in 2018 (to fund school construction), the increase came with a promise: that city government would work to support and sustain the viability of the restaurant industry.
But instead, restaurants are struggling to stay alive — because the city gave them bad information and then punished them for following the city’s instructions.
Promises made should be kept, however, the stories in the media regarding Philly Vegan and other restaurants in the city, causes me and others to pause, and ponder that the promises have been forgotten. Most small businesses in the city of Richmond operate with a fierce sense of unfailing commitment to succeeding. Each has made a conscious decision to operate and invest in the “River City —with the passion and commitment to contribute to Richmond’s economic success and promising future.
Richmonders are not looking for perfection, but accountability from its local government. If we are pro business, then there has to be a sense of empathy and constructed customer service when dealing with governmental mistakes that impact a business’s viability. The media coverage has revealed the importance of having a skilled and professional staff, state of the art technology, and most importantly, a compassion and sensitive customer-service focus.
Philly Vegan’s interaction with the city — and I know there are others with similar stories, has exposed the truth. This glaring depiction of our local government has to change. There has to be a commitment to providing the best services, amenities and responsiveness to our citizens and businesses — large and small. The new year brings an opportunity for us to do better!
Together we can change Richmond’s narratives.