Richmond restaurant hailed as a small business success

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The Boathouse, Richmond’s newest waterfront restaurant, received national recognition today during a speech in Washington kicking off National Small Business Week. The restaurant, located in a historic, renovated power plant on the banks of the James River, was one of three businesses hailed as a “stunning” economic success during a keynote address by Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.

Mills related how Boathouse President Kevin Healy was unable to secure a bank loan for his restaurant project, despite having opened and run The Boathouse at Sunday Park in Chesterfield County for years. 

Healy persevered by obtaining a $450,000 SBA Recovery Act loan through Sonabank in McLean. The loan paid for equipment and working capital, allowing Healy to open a restaurant at the Rocketts Landing development.  With the enactment of the federal Recovery Act, Healy also managed to saved $10,000 in fees, according to the SBA. 

During the renovation, the Boathouse contributed to the regional economy by relying on local contractors. Since opening in 2009, it has generated more than $240,000 in meals tax income for the city of Richmond.  The restaurant employs 80 people. “Small businesses create two out every three jobs in America each year,” Mills said.
“More than half of working Americans own or work for a small business.”

The other two businesses were Keystone Helicopters in Pennsylvania and Healthy Living Foods in Vermont. 

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