RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The fifth annual Richmond Black Restaurant Experience kicked off with Mobile Soul Sunday, featuring dozens of Black-owned food trucks.
The experience is one way many small business owners, including Sharon Williams, are gaining support from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been pretty good because some food trucks aren’t even working at all,” Williams said. “I’m happy to be working.”
Williams started her food truck business, Lady Sharon’s Soul Food Kitchen, two and a half years ago. When the COVID-19 pandemic started last March, she says her business faced some challenges.
“We closed down for a month because we had nothing in the books, and then we would get one thing here and one thing there,” Williams said.
Williams took her wheels into several new neighborhoods to stay open for business during the pandemic.
Her food truck is one of dozens that are part of this year’s Richmond Black Restaurant Experience.
Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., stopped by the Arthur Ashe Center for Mobile Soul Sunday.
Kaine says the COVID-19 relief bill, which is heading to the House for a vote on Tuesday, includes 28 billion dollars for restaurant grants. A portion of this money will go towards supporting minority-owned businesses.
“There’s specific targeting of one fifth of the money for restaurants that are women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned,” Kaine said. “Our restaurants are like the pillars of our community. We have to make sure they survive.”
Williams hopes the community will continue to show their support, one meal at a time.
“Food trucks struggle a little more than restaurants so come out and support us,” she said. “We’re happy to serve you.”
The Richmond Black Restaurant Experience will continue all week until March 14.
Organizers of the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience says they’ve raised about $600,000 to support small business each year.
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