‘It’s my livelihood’: City of Richmond looks to help business owners with

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – The City of Richmond is partnering with sanitizing company Citron to give away a quarter of a million dollars worth of personal protective equipment to local businesses.

Cars were lined up outside the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Monday, with business owners waiting to accept the cleaning supplies from the city.

For some, the sanitizing wipes, soap, gloves and masks in the PPE kits may seem simple. But, for others, like Richmond business owner and piano teacher Karmalita Bawar, it’s much more.

“It’s my livelihood,” Bawar told 8News. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have lost one-third of my studio.”

She said these kits are another simple step in a big time of need.

“I have to sanitize between each student, so all of the handles and doors and then the piano benches, and then I have to wipe down the keys themselves and then I have to keep the two pianos six feet apart from each other,” Bawar said.

Jason Alley, with the mayor’s office, said it has a dual benefit, helping people with their bottom line but also making sure public safety is looked after.

“Besides the just, crushing business consequences, there’s a lot of anxiety around people’s health,” Alley said. “These are all people who want to do well, they want to do good. They want to make sure that everybody feels safe.”

As of Monday afternoon, Alley said the city had already given out around 160 of the kits to local businesses and hope to have all of the kits gone in the second distribution on Thursday.

Local business owners who have proof of ownership such as a business license or utility bill and wish to register for the second distribution on Thursday can do so online here.

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