Sagal Ahmed, Contributing Writer
The City of Richmond will be closed to the public from Tuesday, March 17 to Friday, March 20 with the exception of essential personnel and service, according to a press release.
The release requests that all places that serve food or drinks in Richmond eliminate bar seating, move tables at least six feet apart and cap their on-site services to 50% of their normal capacity.
“This measure is taken in an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health of restaurant patrons and staff,” noted the release from Mayor Levar Stoney. “I understand that this action will take a toll on small businesses. That’s why we’re providing tax relief and exploring loan program options to support this valued community.”
Stoney’s administration will introduce an amnesty program next Monday for all penalties and interest on local taxes due between last Friday and June 30. Personal property taxes on vehicles, motor vehicle license taxes and vehicle license fees are not included.
The city is also exploring the idea of a program that will issue small, no-interest loans to support small businesses.
This new regulation won’t affect business delivery operations, according to the release.
“I urge you to keep ordering takeout and delivery and consider buying gift-cards for future use,” Stoney stated in the release.
The city has a proposal for postponing the application deadline for Richmond Real Estate Tax Abatements for Seniors and People with Disabilities, which serve approved low and moderate income Richmonders.
This year would have the most number of people who are eligible for the program due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
If passed by Richmond City Council, the proposal would give seniors and those living with disabilities more time to apply, despite challenges caused by the novel coronavirus.