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New restaurants, trampoline park on the horizon as Regency Square renovations continue

Regency Square, which is in the midst of a $30 million renovation, announced opening dates for three new businesses as progress moves along.

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Regency Square, which is in the midst of a $30 million renovation, announced opening dates for three new businesses as progress moves along.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is scheduled to open on Thursday, September 6th in the newly-constructed, 7,500-square-foot building along Quioccasin Road neighboring MOD Pizza.

Starbucks Coffee, which repurposed the former Bank of America building, is scheduled to open the next day on Friday, September 7th. MOD Pizza looks to open in the late September or early October timeframe.

“We are excited about the ongoing changes as we bring new retailers to the area,” said Steve Bonniville, General Manager for Regency.

Following the demolition of an existing entrance ramp, Quioccasin Road, between North Parham Road and Starling Drive, returned to normal conditions with two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes. Traffic lights at the new four-way intersection connecting Regency to Walmart are now fully functional. The intersection creates a new entrance to the mall property and now enables left hand turns into each shopping center for easier traffic flow.

As part of the master plan for improvements to the center, Regency repaved and restriped the majority of its parking lots between Quioccasin Road and the Food Court, as well as the area in front of McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill and over to JCPenney. Additions include new sidewalks, islands, landscaping and a lawn area for future events.

On August 27th, site work began on the parking lot adjacent to Firestone on Parham Road to make way for Better Med and a drive-thru Panera Bread. Anticipated openings for the two new merchants are scheduled for late spring or early summer.

Surge Trampoline Park also signed on to occupy the former Macy’s north building at Regency. The new-to-market cutting-edge entertainment, fitness and sports facility will occupy 40,000 square feet of space. Construction will begin in the fall of 2018.

“These new additions are just the beginning of Regency’s transformation and, based on customer requests, we anticipate more announcements in the very near future,” Bonniville added.

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Ardent Craft Ales launches food bank for restaurant workers affected by closures, reduced hours

“The restaurant industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 virus and the country’s need to close or restrict public gathering spaces. We want to do our part to help the thousands of restaurant workers in Richmond and the surrounding area who have been laid-off, furloughed or are suffering from reduced hours,” said Tom Sullivan, Ardent’s co-founder.

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Ardent Craft Ales is teaming up with SyscoThe Holli Fund, and Digital Minerva to launch Ardent Helps, a food bank resource inspired by Harrisonburg-based Pale Fire Brewery to support restaurant workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The food bank will start taking orders on Monday, March 30. All orders must be placed online at www.ardenthelpsrva.com. Orders will be packed and made available for pick up the next business day between 2-8 p.m. at Ardent Craft Ales’ taproom at 3200 West Leigh Street in Scott’s Addition. Orders may be placed seven days a week, with pick-up times scheduled during our operating hours of 2-8pm on Tuesday-Sunday.

“The restaurant industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 virus and the country’s need to close or restrict public gathering spaces. We want to do our part to help the thousands of restaurant workers in Richmond and the surrounding area who have been laid-off, furloughed or are suffering from reduced hours,” said Tom Sullivan, Ardent’s co-founder. “Pale Fire’s popup food bank concept connected with our brewery and community and we’re honored to be able to help the Richmond service industry.”

The Ardent Helps food bank will only be available to restaurant industry workers. However, it is not limited to Richmond residents, and all restaurant workers are welcome to place orders and pick up goods. Participants are asked to avoid stockpiling and take only what they immediately need. The program will last as long as it can safely continue to operate and donated items are available. Responsible sanitation and social distancing measures will be followed at all times.

A variety of perishable and non-perishable items donated by Sysco will be available. Ardent is also accepting both shelf-stable food donations to support this program and monetary donations to directly benefit affected restaurant workers via grants from The Holli Fund.

There is no cost to participate in Ardent Helps. Participants are asked to show their most recent pay stub to confirm eligibility upon pick up. Ardent’s taproom will remain open to the general public for to-go beer and merchandise purchases.

Learn more about the program at www.ardenthelpsrva.com.

Ardent Helps. Photo courtesy Ardent Craft Ales

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Bon Secours furloughs employees not directly associated with COVID-19 response

“Our most recent projections show sustained operating losses of greater than $100 million per month under the current circumstances,” CEO John Starcher stated in a letter to employees Tuesday.

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Bon Secours Mercy Health is furloughing all of its staff not working directly on the COVID-19 response efforts, it was announced on Tuesday. In a letter to employees, CEO John Starcher outlined the nonprofit’s current struggles and plan to reduce costs for the foreseeable future.

It reads, in full:

Like our foundresses before us, we’re answering a call to serve in a time of great need, when resources are scarce and entire communities are relying upon us. Our frontline caregivers are serving with compassion, professionalism and courage as we care for seriously ill and dying patients. While we have hope that effective treatments and vaccines will be developed for COVID-19, they won’t be available in the foreseeable future. Our responsibility is clear: as the virus continues to spread, Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) must ensure that necessary care givers, support medical services and resources are available for the patients and residents who need our life-saving care.

With elective procedures and services canceled and unanticipated expenditures being directed to COVID-19 response activities, we’re facing hard decisions over the short term. Our resources – people, supplies and finances – must be dedicated specifically to responding to COVID-19. For that reason, associates who are not directly supporting COVID-19 response activities will be placed on furlough, a temporary layoff from work. For that reason, we’re taking three key steps today.

First, we’re implementing a hiring freeze for all non-critical care delivery positions, effective immediately. Second, wage increases are frozen, effective immediately. Third, associates who are not directly supporting COVID-19 response activities will be placed on furlough, a temporary layoff from work.

I appreciate the difficulty this action places upon thousands of our associates and their families. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented for all health systems. Even though we were financially strong entering this crisis and are in a better position than many other health systems, our response to this pandemic has placed a tremendous financial burden on our ministry’s resources. Our most recent projections show sustained operating losses of greater than $100 million per month under the current circumstances.

While we’re actively working to model and anticipate the length of this crisis, we cannot accurately predict the duration of the pandemic. At this point, we can only learn from other countries that began seeing infection rates mere weeks before us. If we’re to ensure we can support the clinicians and provide resources necessary to care for pandemic victims – we cannot simply hope things will change, and we cannot wish the timing would be different – action must be taken now. That’s why some BSMH associates will be furloughed, and that’s why it’s happening quickly.

Here is high-level information about the furlough: affected associates will be paid for working through April 3, and then available PTO hours will be paid until depleted. Once all payments from BSMH stop, associates are eligible for recently enhanced state unemployment pay. In addition, the Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation has generously donated $60 million to the BSMH Associate Hardship Fund, which will help associates facing serious financial challenges. Full details about the furlough process, including an extensive FAQ to help answer questions you may have, are available on the intranet.

This is a challenging time for everyone … for those working tirelessly at the bedside, for our health professionals and support staff fighting COVID-19 and those associates who will be furloughed. It is a time of fear and anxiety for people around the world as we pray for effective treatments and vaccines to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please safeguard your health over the coming weeks and months. While we may not be able to visit in person with colleagues, friends, and family, never has it been more important to stay connected with others.

I’m thankful for you and all we’ve achieved together. Our ministry’s response to COVID-19 has been outstanding. Rest assured that even as we deal with the unique challenges confronting us, we’re adding to the knowledge and experience that positions Bon Secours Mercy Health as a leader in health care strategy and delivery. We will come out of this crisis an improved organization, positioning ourselves for an even brighter future.

I look forward to when we’re able to come back together as a ministry, reflect on our learnings and begin to write the next chapter that will help define our proud legacy for generations to come.

May God bless you and keep you and your loved ones safe.

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Restaurant employee fundraisers you can donate to right now

It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

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It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

Another way you can make a difference is to donate to The Holli Fund. I (Trevor) was one of a handful of folks asked to host a virtual happy hour last week (embedded at the bottom of the post). This is an application- and need-based fund that gives grants to folks in both the front and back of house at restaurants and breweries across the area. The fund has done transformational things like paid folks’ mortgages, car payments, and fulfilled other important needs. You can learn more here and donate by texting “DONATE” and your amount (i.e. DONATE $5) to 805-518-8333.

Also check out our ongoing list of restaurants offering delivery and takeout, the coronavirus support list, and all of our COVID-19 coverage here. While we’re at it, we could use your support right now, too. RVAHub is a labor of love for both Richard Hayes and I, and we’re doing our best to keep the public up to date on important news and updates. With our ad network suspended, we’re running the site at a loss currently. It would mean the world to us if you were able to spare a couple o’ bucks and chip in to our cause. We’d love you for it.




Restaurant/employee fundraisers

 

More from Chad Williams of “30 is the New 20“:

Information on donating to The Holli Fund

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