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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — It’s no secret that many small businesses have been impacted during the pandemic, but many of them are bouncing back. This week is National Small Business Week, a great opportunity to help them even more.

To show our support, we highlight local businesses Philly Vegan.

One of Philly VeganThe co-owners of grew up in South Richmond, and while it has been difficult to open a business during the pandemic, he says nurturing his community has been a dream.

“It was amazing. It’s really amazing to be where I grew up in the south and be 10 minutes away and now have a building and give back to all the people I grew up with said Philly Vegan co-owner Samuel Veney.

Philly Vegan serves plant-based Philly cheesesteaks.

Philly Vegan Philly Cheesesteak with Fries((Source: Philly Vegan))

Unlike most restaurants whose doors have closed permanently in the past two years, Philly Vegan opened during the pandemic in June 2021.

“It was difficult. I mean, the pandemic has hit everyone pretty hard,” Veney said.

But through all the challenges, Veney and his team were able to pivot and even give back to the community with a program they created called “pay what you can”.

“We allow our customers to come to our restaurant at least one day a month and pay what they can, and if they can’t pay, their meal is free, no questions asked,” Veney said.

Veney has advice for those considering starting their own small business.

“Do it. If you feel it in your heart and it’s something you’re passionate about, just take the steps,” Veney said.

Tom Kelley, with Village Banksays you shouldn’t let fear keep you from achieving your dreams.

“It’s the American dream to open a small business, work for yourself, grow the business the way you want, and it’s the satisfaction of having people working for you and supporting the needs of other families,” Kelley said.

Kelley specializes in small business loans and helps potential owners by guiding them through the application process.

He says if you’re thinking of opening a small business, you need to come up with a plan.

“You can start your own business, you have to project what you’re going to do, or you can acquire an existing business,” Kelley said.

Veney’s recipe for success has always focused on food and people.

“We just want people to feel good when they walk into our building,” Veney said.

You have until May 7 before National Small Business Week ends, but you can still support your local businesses any time of the year.

Philly Vegan Menu Items
Philly Vegan Menu Items((Source: Philly Vegan))

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