Senator Mark Warner held a conference call with Mayor Paul Crawford of Richlands, Tazewell Today Director Amanda Hoops, Clinch Valley Health CEO Dr. Peter Mulkey, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Stacy about the impact of Covid-19 on the county. Crawford said Richlands had taken a major hit financially with 60 businesses delinquent on their license fees.

The mayor said the town’s meals tax funds were way down due to restaurants being closed or limited to drive thru or curbside business.  Warner asked his aide Shane Clem to provide the town information on a grant program that could assist small businesses.

Crawford also addressed the town’s flooding problems. “We have had one major flood and another that was almost a major this year,’ he said.  He went on to express a concern that there would be more flooding in the same places and people would not be able to deal with it.

Warner said the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) uses guidelines that make it difficult for rural communities to qualify for assistance.   “It is much easier for a metropolitan area to meet the  $3 million threshold than it is for a rural community,’ he said.