University of Lynchburg dean says national stimulus, local investments critical for future of economy

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:29 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Hard times have affected many this year.

Our hometown businesses have fought to stay alive - and now that fight is more important than ever.

“Restaurants are suffering, leisure industry is suffering, travel and tourism is suffering and this time of year is some of the busiest time of year in terms of those arenas,” said Nancy Hubbard, University of Lynchburg College of Business dean.

She says local businesses like restaurants need help right now to keep moving forward.

“I think we’ve really got a problem if we don’t get a stimulus package and we do not support our local, our small businesses,” said Hubbard.

RA Bistro is a restaurant in Lynchburg. The American-themed eatery wants folks to dine safely during a holiday season that’s largely been slow.

“Social distancing, mask wearing and everything else that we need to do I think is a thing that most of us that are embracing it want it to work and we’re making it work,” said Alex Richardson, owner.

Richardson says filling seats will take both a local and federal investment.

However, he says any national help needs to be industry-specific.

“The elected officials and stuff need to not do blanket-approach things but starting getting industry-specific and starting looking at how do we actually impact restaurants, how do we impact retail,” said Richardson.

Hubbard says the actions of both local folks and government over the next few months will have long-term impacts.

“The next four months economically and how we get businesses through the next four months is going to make or break that question, it’s gonna answer that question for you,” said Hubbard.

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