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City launches Triple A Business Assistance Program for small businesses

The program is made possible by American Rescue Plan Act funds

The City of Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development (OMBD) is accepting applications for the Triple A Business Assistance Program. The program is designed to provide professional, targeted assistance to local, small businesses recovering from the consequences of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has thrown everything it has at small businesses in Richmond, and still they are the beating heart of this city,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “The Triple A program is just one way we’re using American Rescue Plan funding to express our gratitude for the community’s resilience, support its recovery, and keep moving forward.”

Triple A stands for the program’s three core steps: assess, address, and activate.  

  1. Assess - Businesses will undergo an extensive assessment tool to identify the firm’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as make recommendations for improvements
  2. Address - Upon undergoing the assessment, the business will be assigned a business strategist to develop a business plan that will address the issues and position the business for growth.
  3. Activate - Resources are identified and provided to the business to execute the strategy outlined in the business plan to include, if determined, financial assistance.

All activities will be used to build, support, and strengthen businesses. The program will be implemented with ARPA funds and benefit from the expertise of local partners and entrepreneurs.

Businesses interested in participating must complete the program application by visiting The application deadline is February 15, 2022. Slots are limited for the program. Participants will be selected via a selection committee.

The OMBD will host two information sessions to discuss the program, its requirements, and how to apply. All businesses are encouraged to attend. The sessions will be held virtually on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 12 p.m. and Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 6 p.m. Registration is required in order to receive the Microsoft Teams Meeting link. To register for one of the information sessions, visit


  1. Business must be physically located in the City of Richmond (Paid Business License);
  2. Business must have no more than 50 employees and/or independent contractors;
  3. Business revenue must not exceed $750,000 annually;
  4. Business must have been in business a minimum of 3 years;
  5. Business must be in good standing with the State Corporation Commission (SCC); and
  6. Business must be registered with the Office of Minority Business Development.

Businesses can obtain more information about the Triple A Business Assistance Program and other Technical Assistance Programs on the OMBD’s website:

For more information or if you have any questions about the OMBD Business Development, contact LaQuiana Bailey at (804) 646-1875 or


Relief, investment, and opportunity creation in the City of Richmond

City officials are poised to put forth a new resolution to bring the One Casino + Resort to Richmond.  Empowered with the knowledge that residents want to know how the casino revenue will be spent, city staff proposes a two-cent tax rate reduction and uses the additional revenue for one-time capital improvement projects for Richmond City Public Schools and the City of Richmond.

The infusion of 1500 jobs and millions of dollars in economic growth and development that will help Richmond grow is exactly what many leaders and community members desire.

But it is much more than dollars and cents, it is also about closing gaps and providing relief.  Equity and community wealth gaps can be narrowed with this one project.  As the city continues to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the casino project can assist with leveling the playing field for many Richmonders who continue to struggle during these uncertain and unprecedented times.  This resolution doubles down on the city’s commitment to creating “One Richmond”.

"Our city needs to explore opportunities that create new jobs, generate new revenues, and create new tourism destinations,” said Councilman Andreas Addison. “This is more than a casino, it’s a new privately funded entertainment district for music, arts, and other amenities in the heart of southside where more investment opportunities are needed. I support the democratic process to explore this project."

While the proposed ideas center around tax rate reduction and capital improvement projects, which are both areas that provide relief for Richmond residents, the main relief can be found in providing jobs for those hardest hit by COVID.  Relief can be found in the revenue being used to address transit mobility issues.  Relief can also be found in the revenue being used to address diversifying the city’s economic engines that can bring sustainable change to Richmond.

"I strongly believe that the revenue from the resort casino project can purposefully be used to provide property tax relief for residents across the city,” said Councilwoman Ann-Frances Lambert.  Richmond is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.  In fact, in the 3rd district, there are working families, seniors, and other residents on fixed incomes who are unable to pay for their increased property taxes.  They are at risk of losing their homes.  At the end of the day, I think that this project will help mitigate one of our city’s top issues."

Introducing new economic engines into the city is extremely important as the community looks strategically at moving away from being dependent on the government.

“Economic development is a top priority for 2022. A lack of diversity in revenue sources makes the cost of living in Richmond too high,” states Councilwoman Ellen Robertson. “As such, in 2022, we should focus on economic development to include: the Boulevard, Downtown/Central City Small Area Plan, $20M investment in affordable housing, South Richmond 1-95 Gateway and Urban One Hotel Casino Resort - which will create thousands of jobs, reduce real-estate taxes tremendously, and assist with completing facilities and infrastructure development throughout the city.  When we increase employment, increase tax revenue and retail sales, and put community benefits in place that will drastically impact the lives of citizens, we are certainly putting the community first.”

As Richmonders look towards the future of their city, officials have heard the need for more jobs, bringing the right development that benefits all of Richmond, and growing through sustainable economic development.

“The One Casino + Resort opportunity makes sense for our entire community.  Our residents should have the chance to change the narrative of their city and One Casino + Resort helps us do that,” stated Councilwoman Reva Trammell.  “Providing jobs and access is paramount to what we believe in doing in Richmond.  With the One Casino + Resort, we can jumpstart careers, provide access and wealth-building opportunities for those who need them, create spaces for creativity, and provide new educational outlets.  This is what inclusive development looks like – something for everyone.”

While the proposals have to be vetted, it is important to highlight some of the community benefits if One Casino + Resort calls Richmond home –

  • No city funding required
  • Capital Investment over $560M which can be spent on improvement projects in Richmond City Schools and the City of Richmond
  • Influx of 1500 jobs for those who need them most
  • $16M to support local community organizations which assists with decreasing the wealth gap
  • $325K to support transit mobility solutions which creates more access

Councilmember Michael Jones echoes the sentiments of his colleagues.  “Investment in our community and our people is the key to the casino project.  There is no time like the present to ensure that our residents know we are committed to creating a better Richmond for everyone,” said Councilmember Michael Jones. “While the casino may be housed on the Southside, its benefits will be felt citywide.”

The community benefits encompass all of Richmond therefore all Richmonders win.

“Our residents deserve tax relief and access to good jobs,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “They want public infrastructure improvements and more funding for school capital projects. This project provides a unique opportunity to do just that. I know City Council is committed to creating opportunities that uplift and support ALL Richmond residents, and I’m hopeful tonight’s vote affirms this shared commitment.”

This project is about the people of Richmond.  It is about providing security, relief, jobs, and investment which leads to a brighter future for the entire city.

Patrons for the resolution include President Newbille, Vice President Robertson, Councilman Jones, Councilwoman Trammell, Councilwoman Lambert, Councilman Addison, and Mayor Stoney.

The proposed resolution will be introduced at today’s City Council Meeting at 6 PM.

City to Host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program Virtually

City to Host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program Virtually and Encourages Residents to Safely Volunteer on National Day of Service

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, held this year on Monday, January 17, is celebrated as a National Day of Service. Residents are encouraged to view Richmond’s recognition ceremony, “A Day On, Not a Day Off”, featuring Mayor Levar M. Stoney, Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras, and City Council members. The presentation can be viewed online on the City of Richmond’s Facebook page beginning on Monday.

This National Day of Service celebration is being organized by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Office on Volunteerism (Neighbor-To-Neighbor), the AmeriCorps program, the Black History Museum, and the Valentine Museum.

Parks and Recreation has coordinated service projects at G.H. Reid Elementary School and at the Historic Slave Trail, weather dependent. COVID-19 protocols will be in place at both locations.

For more information about the department, follow PRCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

City Offices Closed January 17 in Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, city government offices, including City Hall, will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022. City offices will reopen at regular business hours on Tuesday, January 18.

This closing includes all branches of the Richmond Public Library, Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities offices, and community centers.

All DPW offices will be closed on Monday, January 17. Residential trash collection will not be picked up on Monday. Trash collection will be delayed by one day. Trash scheduled for pick up on Monday will be picked up on Tuesday and so on through Friday, January 21.

The East Richmond Road Convenience Center, located at 3800 East Richmond Road, will be closed on Monday, January 17 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 18.

Richmond Animal Care and Control offers adoptions by appointment Sunday through Friday and open to the public each Saturday from Noon until 5 p.m.

For more information on city services and schedules, please visit


City publishes draft of transit and mobility planning document, requests feedback

The Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility (OETM) has completed a draft of the Path to Equity: Policy Guide for Richmond Connects. After a summer of virtual and in-person community engagement, the plan is ready for public review. 

The Path to Equity: Policy Guide for Richmond Connects articulates the policy framework for Richmond Connects, the multimodal transportation planning process set to begin March 2022. The goal of the document is to provide a principled, community-rooted foundation to guide the implementation of the upcoming project-based transportation plan.

The policy guide was developed with the help of the public and two planning committees. An internal steering committee, made up of Richmond city staff across many departments, helped guide the process. An advisory committee, made up of a diverse group of citizens, advocates, and local and regional planning and government professionals, helped develop the new policy statements in the document. OETM relied on more than 1,900 responses from the public survey to craft the guide while considering research and best practices in equity planning from across the country.

Said Administrator of the Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility Dironna Moore Clarke, “Thank you to everyone who attended the community engagement events this summer, including our very popular Tacos for Transportation effort! OETM heard so many great ideas, and we are excited to share this draft.”

Summary of Path to Equity: Policy Guide for Richmond Connects

First, the document lays out the history of the injustices that have occurred as a result of government policies, from the local to the federal level. It takes ownership for these injustices and lays out additional context that the city is operating within today. It articulates which injustices, and what elements of the planning and funding process, hinder progress towards equity in transportation today. It points to new directions the city and its planning partners must take to get closer to true equity.

The policy guide reiterates the transportation-related goals and objectives from Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth, the city’s master plan, but adds additional policy statements to center the policy on equity in transportation programs, policies, investments and infrastructure.

It articulates a new set of policy statements, called Equity Factors, that describe the desired outcomes related to addressing injustices of the past and barriers today. It also lays out three guiding principles for how the process must unfold in achieving these Equity Factors and Richmond 300’s objectives.

Says Moore-Clarke, “Process matters. It’s important not just what we accomplish, but how we accomplish it. That’s why we’ve outlined guiding principles as our process guideposts.”

Next steps in the planning process

Once finalized, the framework developed in the Path to Equity: Policy Guide will ultimately help prioritize needs and recommend transportation projects and programs for the city in Richmond Connects. It will align the city transportation needs and a variety of recommendations from various plans to identify equitable transportation projects across the city. Including commenting on the Path to Equity draft, there will be many more opportunities for your voices to be heard, as the Policy Guide is but the first step in planning for what residents see as the community’s top transportation needs.

This policy guide continues the City’s commitment to building a more equitable city for all Richmonders. Please help this vital work by reviewing the draft policy guide before January 31, 2022.

Please stay connected at and review the draft document at

The policy guide in its entirety is available for review and comment. Considering the length and detail of the document, the equity factors and guiding principles are also available separately for comment and review.

The Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility also invites the public to join a webinar on January 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. to learn more about the planning process; an event page can be found on the city’s Facebook and on the Path to Equity webpage. Also stay tuned to the city’s Facebook for information on a series of Path to Equity mini-sessions happening Thursdays in January, starting next week, via Facebook live.


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