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Sales Tax Holiday this weekend

No taxes on school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane/emergency preparedness items, Energy Star™ and WaterSense™​ items.

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Most children dread this time of year because stores are suddenly packed with back to school supplies. A not so subtle reminder that in mere weeks they’ll go from sitting at the pool discussing the best flavor of Skittle to sitting in a classroom discussing a dead Greek dude and the mathy equation thing he invented.

Parents dread this time of year because they have to pay for all those supplies. This dread is somewhat offset by the fact they’ll finally have the house to themselves and won’t wake up to, “what are we doing today?”. If the parent is on the ball they can save a little cash this weekend. Our household is so not on the ball that we have no idea where the ball is or what it even looks like. RPS has the handy list and the larger chain outlets usually have lists of the local schools’ requirements.

The Virginia Sales Tax Holiday 2016 runs from Friday, August 5th through Sunday, August 7th. The good news is that it doesn’t just cover school supplies. The holiday also covers hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products.

Visit the Virginia Department of Taxation for the full details but below is an overview of exempt items.

School Supplies, Clothing, and Footwear: 

Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Items:

  • Portable generators – $1,000 or less per item
  • Gas-powered chainsaws – $350 or less per item
  • Chainsaw accessories – $60 or less per item
  • Other specified hurricane preparedness items with a sales price of $60 or less per item
  • Detailed list of hurricane preparedness items

Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ Items: 
Qualifying items carrying either the Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ label with a sales price of $2,500 or less purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

  • Qualifying Energy Star™ items include dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators
  • Qualifying WaterSense™ items include bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories such as aerators and shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers
  • Detailed list of Energy Star and WaterSense items

Photo by: borman818

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Scott’s Addition dance studio pivots to online streaming classes during pandemic

“The bulk of our members have stayed with us, owner Sandi Cauley says. “Former clients have returned and some friends from as far away as Australia are now jumping into classes, some of them trying us for the first time. If there’s a silver lining – that might be it.”

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On March 30th, Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order that shuttered all Virginia gyms and studios and mandated all residents stay home to “flatten the curve” of COVID- 19 cases. So, what are you supposed to do when your whole business is based on the in-person group experience and it gets shut down? You go virtual.

Although virtual fitness and on-demand classes have been out there for a while, most boutique fitness studios were not set up to do it and a lot of small studios have been scrambling.

“I’ve learned something new about executing it every day,” said Sandi Cauley, owner of TURN Cardio Jam Studio, “I’m sitting in webinars, grabbing online help videos and testing out new products daily hoping to deliver quality audio and video via our streaming provider. And then on top of it, l am like an air traffic controller coordinating with instructors, scheduling the class, streaming the class and then making sure the client got a great experience. It’s a lot harder than you think.”

TURN has been trying to stay true to its studio schedule providing clients with 15 various classes 7-days a week; everything from dance fitness and dance instruction to yoga and HIIT strength classes. They have even added family classes to incorporate workouts with teens and children. Members are given the added bonus of On-Demand classes to watch at a later time.

The business also rented out its equipment to members and clients; allowing them to take home weights, bands, BOSUS, and whatever else needed for an effective home workout. Next week, the studio will launch private lessons. Allowing anyone to book time with instructors to again get that one on one interaction and attention.

“Initially, we thought this could be a steep challenge, but we have gotten a lot of support,” explained Cauley. “The bulk of our members have stayed with us. Former clients have returned and some friends from as far away as Australia are now jumping into classes, some of them trying us for the first time. If there’s a silver lining – that might be it.”

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‘We’re Open’ sign program helps local restaurants signal takeout, delivery options

The “We’re Open” signs are a part of Richmond Region Tourism’s #TakeoutRVA campaign to help local businesses promote their takeout and delivery offerings during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 500 have been distributed.

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New green “We’re Open” signs are on display in the windows of local restaurants and craft beverage producers around the region to signal takeout and delivery options for customers.

The “We’re Open” signs are a part of Richmond Region Tourism’s #TakeoutRVA campaign to help local businesses promote their takeout and delivery offerings during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 500 signs have been distributed. Dining and craft beverage partners can also download graphics for social media at Richmond Region Tourism’s website.

Richmond Region Tourism is maintaining a list of restaurants and craft beverage purveyors offering takeout and delivery options at www.takeoutrva.com. Businesses can request a sign for their establishment by emailing Michael Spurlock at [email protected].

“Many of your favorite local restaurants and craft beverage purveyors are open for business and offering takeout, delivery or curbside pickup options,” said Jack Berry, President & CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “These establishments are a vital part of Richmond’s vibrant culture and we’re hoping those who can, will continue to support these businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.”

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City of Richmond announces Small Business Disaster Loan Program

The Richmond Economic Development Authority on Thursday created the Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program (COVID-19), which will offer interest-free emergency loans of up to $20,000 to small businesses within city limits.

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The Richmond Economic Development Authority on Thursday created the Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program (COVID-19), which will offer interest-free emergency loans of up to $20,000 to small businesses within city limits.

The program is intended to provide relief to small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Monies will go toward paying employee wages, empowering local, small businesses to continue operating and keep employees on their payroll.

“Small businesses have made Richmond the thriving cultural capital we love,” said Mayor Stoney. “They’ve been understanding, patient and selfless in adapting to the recent social distancing guidance, no matter the economic consequences for them. This loan program is one way we can help provide some relief and support in this tough time.”

The maximum loan amount for the program is six months of current employee wages or $20,000, whichever is less. Loan payments will be disbursed over six months.

Repayment of the loans will be deferred for six months, followed by 48 months of no-interest payments.

Small businesses interested in applying should fill out the application and provide the required documentation via email. The application will be available starting Monday, April 6.

Funding is limited. Applications will be considered in the order they are submitted.

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