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City Council approves special fund to help businesses affected by GRTC Pulse construction

RICHMOND, Va. — Businesses along Broad and East Main Streets directly affected by the prolonged construction of the GRTC Pulse bus rapid transit service are getting a boost from City Hall.

That boost came from Richmond City Council Monday night who approved a special fund of $279,978 to assist affected businesses.

The near $280,000 special fund, from the GRTC, is called the Pulse BRT Business Support Special Fund, and will be used for parking and beautification programs for businesses affected by the extended construction.

The GRTC Pulse, a 7.6-mile route that stretches from Rockett’s Landing to Willow Lawn, initially broke ground in August 2016. The original goal was for the project to be completed by the end of 2017.

Mayor Levar Stoney proposed creating a special fund with the money GRTC said they had saved since the Pulse launched later than expected.

Some business owners along the route have partly blamed the large construction project for either slowing their business or causing major parking disruptions.

In November 2017, the Pig and Pearl restaurant located in the Fan District closed its doors.

“It’s definitely impacted the business and about 50 percent of the gross revenue we lost since we opened in 2014,” owner Mathew Appleget said.

A lane designated for parking outside of The Pig and Pearl at West Broad and North Allison Streets was restricted to driving only.

“Folks weren’t coming in, and the folks that did drive in to come to the restaurant weren’t coming anymore because they wanted to avoid the traffic and avoid the project,” Appleget explained. “We think it definitely contributed a significant percentage to the loss in gross revenue that we had.”