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Report: Saxon Shoes files for bankruptcy protection, stores remain open

A local shoe retailer with deep roots in Richmond has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to an exclusive from Richmond BizSense.

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From Richmond BizSense:

A stalwart of Richmond retail has filed bankruptcy.

Saxon Shoes, a decades-old fixture of Richmond’s shopping scene, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday. The Henrico County-based shoe retailer has two stores, one in Short Pump Town Center and another in Fredericksburg.

Chapter 11 will allow the business to remain in operation while working with creditors through a reorganization plan. Its two stores remain open for business.

The company reported $7.4 million in gross sales and $2.8 million in total income in 2019, according to a tax filing included in its bankruptcy filing. The company posted a loss of about $665,000 for the year.

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Richmond Region Tourism launches Tourism Master Plan during annual meeting

The Master Plan, “Richmond Region 2030, A Strategic Direction for the Richmond’s Visitor Economy,” was developed in 2019 with extensive feedback and input from the community. Consultants asked questions of key stakeholders during 115 interviews and surveyed 1,000 visitors and 2,100 residents, and hosted 50 people in visioning workshops. 

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At its Annual Awards and Meeting program last Friday, Richmond Region Tourism introduced its tourism master plan, a 10-year strategic vision to enhance the region’s visitor experience while balancing the quality of life for residents. The virtual event, organized via Zoom, also included an awards program and updates from national expert Adam Sacks on tourism trends and COVID-19 economic recovery predictions.

The Master Plan, “Richmond Region 2030, A Strategic Direction for the Richmond’s Visitor Economy,” was developed in 2019 with extensive feedback and input from the community. Consultants asked questions of key stakeholders during 115 interviews and surveyed 1,000 visitors and 2,100 residents, and hosted 50 people in visioning workshops.

The 10-year plan aims to responsibly grow the region’s tourism industry while supporting quality of life for all residents. It includes three initial focus areas:

  • Experience development: Enhancing and developing tourism experiences within the Richmond region that meet the needs of contemporary travelers.
  • Infrastructure and investment: Investing in facilities and infrastructure to maintain, refresh, and upgrade the existing tourism experience, addressing gaps and capitalizing on future growth opportunities.
  • Industry advancement and advocacy: Devoting capacity, influence, skills, and resources to projects aligned with the mission of marketing the region as a destination, while at the same time advancing initiatives that improve the destination experience for visitors and residents.

“The Richmond Region 2030 plan takes a strategic and community-based approach to defining an overarching vision and competitive positioning for our region as a destination,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “This is an exciting roadmap for the future of our region. We look forward to actively engaging and listening to the community as we move forward with the plan and its priorities in the years to come.”

Richmond Region Tourism’s annual meeting also showcased local leaders for their contributions to tourism and the economy.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Alex Nyerges and former Hanover County Administrator Cecil R. “Rhu” Harris Jr. received the Tourism Impact Award, the highest honor given each year. Both were recognized for their long-term and significant impacts to the region’s tourism industry.

Members from the BLK RVA Action Team – Enjoli Moon (chair), Josh Epperson, Amy Wentz, and Free Bangura – were honored with the Chairman’s Award, given to a person or organization who has made the greatest contribution during the previous year. BLK RVA is a collaborative initiative between Richmond Region Tourism and an advisory board of community members focused on developing unique ways to attract tourism while highlighting Richmond’s Black culture and businesses.

As part of the meeting, Adam Sacks, president of research firm Tourism Economics, highlighted data trends and economic rebound strategies to support COVID-19 economic recovery.

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Kickstarter-funded Ruby Scoops ice cream shop to open on Brookland Park Boulevard later this fall

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Rabia Kamara recalls drinking a sweet, sugary Colombian beverage as a 5-year-old in Silver Spring, Md. It wasn’t until she was at an international market over 25 years later that she came across the beverage again and fell in love with it anew.

Kamara wants to create similar memories for customers at her ice cream shop, Ruby Scoops Ice Cream and Sweets, which is in the works on Richmond’s Brookland Park Boulevard in North Side. There, Kamara plans to add a unique spin on ice cream flavors, with twists such as Peaches N’ Herb, Sweet Corn Basil and Lemon Honey Chamomile.

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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Want to kick in to the Ruby Scoops Kickstarter? You can do that here.

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CEO of Richmond-based Elephant Insurance’s parent company gifting employees $13 million

As a thank you to all the staff at Admiral and Elephant Insurance who have made his 29 years with the company so special, David Stevens and his wife, Heather will give £1,000 to every full-time member of staff and £500 to all other staff. For employees in the United States, this equates to around $1,300 for full-time employees and $650 for part-time employees.

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David Stevens, CEO and co-founder of Elephant Insurance’s parent company, Admiral Group, announced yesterday he will give a personal gift of around $13 million to over 11,000 employees ahead of his retirement.

As a thank you to all the staff at Admiral and Elephant Insurance who have made his 29 years with the company so special, David Stevens and his wife, Heather will give £1,000 to every full-time member of staff and £500 to all other staff. For employees in the United States, this equates to around $1,300 for full-time employees and $650 for part-time employees.

“Saying thank you to all the Admiral staff in this way is the right thing to do, and I’m so proud and fortunate to have worked with such a special group of people,” said David Stevens, CEO and co-found of Admiral. “Their hard work and dedication has allowed Admiral to grow from a start-up with one brand, zero customers and 57 members of staff, to a FTSE 100 company worth around £8 billion with multiple brands, millions of customers and over 11,000 staff worldwide. Thank you from myself and my wife to everyone at Admiral.”

All Admiral staff, whether they work in Richmond or Rome, Newport or Delhi and everywhere in-between, will benefit from the gift.

“Today and every day, we are so appreciative to work for a company under the Admiral umbrella,” said Alberto Schiavon, CEO of Elephant Insurance. “David Stevens’ generosity will impact all of Elephant’s more than 630 employees, most of whom are here in Richmond. We wish him well in this new stage of life and look forward to welcoming Admiral’s new CEO, Milena Mondini de Focatiis.”

For more information about Elephant Insurance, visit www.elephant.com.

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