Small business assistance program helps local restaurants, retailers reopen safely

Posted at 3:56 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 18:42:38-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The City of Norfolk has launched OpenNorfolk, a small business assistance program that helps local restaurants and retailers open safely under Virginia’s Phase One guidelines.

The program provides free signage, social distancing decals and toolkits to help restaurants expand outdoor dining. Virginia ABC has created an approval process for outside dining.

OpenNorfolk comes as businesses struggle to find their way in a coronavirus world.

“I think we're all worried about our local businesses and excited to enter that Phase One of reopening, but we also know there are a lot of folks - my family included - who are a little hesitant about going out in public unless they know there are safety measures put in place,” Norfolk City Council member Andria P. McClellan told us.

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This citywide effort requires a lot of help, so OpenNorfolk is looking for volunteers to help local businesses. One area of the city will be the focus of each volunteer day.

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