Henrico offers support for businesses reopening under state guidelines

EDA to cover permit fees for temporary structures for outdoor dining, retail

Henrico County is offering technical support, streamlining its processes and covering certain permit fees to help businesses reopen safely under the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia guidelines.

The county and the Henrico Economic Development Authority (EDA) will host a webinar at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 to help businesses navigate the state’s guidelines and local regulations as they prepare to resume or expand services. Registration is available online.

Virginia’s Safer at Home: Phase 1 guidelines take effect Friday, May 15 for all areas except Northern Virginia, easing certain restrictions that were established to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses are the lifeblood of Henrico County, and we recognize that many are ready to take the steps necessary to reopen safely under the guidelines outlined by the Commonwealth,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “As a county, we are committed to making this process as easy and painless as possible while also protecting the health and well-being of our community.”

The state’s Phase 1 guidelines allow certain businesses to reopen with restrictions as well as continue broad safety measures, including social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and teleworking.

The Henrico Department of Planning, in collaboration with the EDA and the Henrico Health District, is ready to assist restaurants in establishing temporary outdoor dining areas with a tent or other structure as allowed under the Phase 1 guidelines. Depending on their plans, restaurants may need to secure county approvals for a site layout and a building permit as well as receive other approvals from the Health District and the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board. For more information, businesses may contact Planning at [email protected] or (804) 501-4602 and the Department of Building Construction and Inspections at (804) 501-4360.

In addition, the EDA will cover permit fees associated with the temporary structures required for outdoor dining and other outdoor retail during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

“We encourage our businesses to participate in next week’s webinar and applaud the EDA for stepping up to cover the permit fees so restaurants and other retailers can set up tents to safely serve customers,” Vithoulkas said. “As more businesses reopen, it is imperative that we work together as a community to make this transition a safe one. We urge everyone to be respectful of others and follow recommended safety precautions, by wearing masks, washing their hands regularly and practicing social distancing.”

For more information, see Planning’s the following links:

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