Henrico announces effort to support locally owned restaurants

County to buy meals for employees on front lines of COVID-19 response

Henrico County is launching an initiative to support locally owned restaurants, caterers and similar businesses by purchasing meals for public safety workers and other employees leading the community’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

County Manager John A. Vithoulkas announced the effort Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting and encouraged businesses to express their interest by completing a form at henrico.us/restaurants. To be eligible, a restaurant or related business must be locally owned, located in Henrico and able to accept credit card payments. Additional criteria are detailed on the webpage.

The initiative grew from recent discussions with Richmond Region Tourism and the Retail Merchants Association and is being managed by the county in partnership with the Henrico County Economic Development Authority. It’s part of a series of actions being taken by the Board of Supervisors and county administration to ease the coronavirus’ impact on residents and businesses.

“Restaurants are a major contributor to our local economy, our school system and our community’s extraordinary quality of life,” Vithoulkas said. “Because the coronavirus has severely limited the public’s ability to congregate, many restaurants have been forced to close while others are hanging on, offering takeout service and deliveries. As a county, we have an opportunity to support these hardworking businesses and their dedicated staffs by feeding our police officers, firefighters, rescue squad volunteers and other employees who are devoting long hours and putting themselves at considerable risk to protect our community’s health and well-being.”

The meals initiative is expected to start late this week with meals for on-duty personnel. It will not impact funding for other county services. Under the program, Henrico will prepare a list of approved restaurants that eligible employees will be able to patron as their schedules and duties allow.

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