“We have some great restaurants here but they have had some difficulty navigating the sort of headwinds that have happened with the pandemic and economic downturn,” Stoney said. More than 50 restaurants in the Richmond region have closed permanently because of the pandemic.
“While some have found their footing these last couple of months, there are still some here that are needing help,” the mayor said. “This [donation] is just another partnership that we bring to bare here with Evergreen Enterprises that helps keep these businesses on their feet so they can navigate these winter months.”
Evergreen Enterprises is trying to get the patio heaters to the city as soon as possible, said John Toler, the company’s CEO.
“There is a lot of inbound container traffic right now because the supply chains all have been disrupted,” Toler said, noting that he thinks the city should be able to receive the heaters toward month’s end.
“This is a great opportunity for the city. These are high demand products. They are hard to get,” Toler said. “So this opportunity presented itself and Ting [Xu] jumped on it not only for us as a retail operation but also to donate to the city.”
Xu created Evergreen Enterprises out of her garage in Henrico County in 1993 initially to make garden flags.