Richmond hires restauranteur as advisor for small business support

Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:15 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond has hired a local restauranteur as a provisional policy advisor to liaise between the restaurant community and city administration.

Jason Alley is a chef and owner behind Comfort, Pasture and Bingo Beer Co. Officials say he will bring experience in restaurant development, ownership, operations and consulting.

“I’ve been in the city for a while doing this so hopefully the connections are good with the community and it seemed to make sense,” said Alley.

He will assist in innovating and implementing safe ways to support restauranteurs and their staff during the pandemic.

“My role will be absolutely to help with messaging, whether it’s about programs, any opportunities that small businesses and restaurants have to work with the city. If there’s anything that the city needs to communicate with restaurants, then a big part of that is going to be helping to figure out how to get that word out,” said Alley

Alley will work closely with the Stoney Administration, Departments of Economic Development and Public Works to promote outdoor dining and other hospitality solutions.

“With his decades of experience in restaurant development and ownership, Jason will be an invaluable asset to the team,” said Stoney. “I’m glad the city can draw on his knowledge, and I look forward to enabling his vision for small business support.”

“I’m really excited to help bridge the gap between restaurants, small businesses and the city,” said Alley. “I think there tends to be an assumption that we aren’t all on the same team. I hope to remedy that by helping the city help the small business community.”

The supportive role for restaurants is being paid for through the city’s CARES Act allocation.

“If restaurant owners have concerns and they feel like they haven’t been heard, then maybe I can be that person that can make the connection - be that ear in City Hall,” said Alley. “Hopefully, my role will allow them to help in a way that’s most beneficial. That’s all anybody wants from this is just to see people do as well as they can”

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