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Relaunch Chesterfield Seeks to Help Local Businesses Reopen Safely

Relaunch Chesterfield
"Relaunch Chesterfield" is meant to help businesses by using Governor Ralph Northam's Business Task Force guidelines for returning more employees and businesses to work, rather than serving as a final, prescriptive set of answers or solutions. (Screenshot: Relaunch Chesterfield)

The group is calling their initiative “Relaunch Chesterfield.” Led by the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, the coalition also includes ChamberRVA and Chesterfield County’s Economic Development Authority. 

Danielle Fitz-Hugh, president of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, says the group is creating workshops with elected officials and businesses from several industries. Those include retail, restaurants and hospitality. 

“It’s not just a matter of flipping on the switch and saying we can open and putting the key in the door, there needed to be some guidelines around that,” said Fitz-Hugh. 

Fitz-Hugh says those guidelines will be coming from Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, which is working on plans to reopen the state’s economy through three phases. Northam announced Monday that phase one is expected to start on May 15. 

Scott Gunn owns two American Family Care facilities in the area, and will be leading a workshop specifically for healthcare businesses. 

“This is a county, this is a region, and we’re all in this together. And the goal is to come up with that blueprint of how we reopen and get things back to normal, even though they may not look the exact same before this started,” Gunn said.

Garrett Hart, Director of the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority says the group reached out to Northam’s task force prior to the recent announcement of easing guidelines. 

“We need as much advance notice and understanding so we can make the employees of our businesses feel comfortable that it’s safe to go back and the customers to feel comfortable that it’s safe to use the businesses again,” Hart said. 


Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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