Just arrived: Vice President visits Old Town Shop Fiber Space | ALXnow

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Updated at 2:30 p.m. – Vice President Kamala Harris managed to sew a visit to the knitting shop in Old Town Fiber space (1319 Prince Street) on the daily program.

It was the Vice President’s first official visit to a small company since taking office in January. Harris spoke to owner Danielle Romanetti and her staff for more than half an hour about the impact of the pandemic and the $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that works its way through the US Senate.

“We need to understand … who are the people who have made the frontline sacrifices and who are really part of not only the economic engine but also the vitality of the community,” said Harris. “For example, as part of the American rescue plan $ 15 billion that goes only to small businesses. We paid great attention to the fact that two and a half million women left working life during COVID. “

Alexandria City Councilor John Taylor Chapman arranged the visit after being contacted by the Vice President’s office last week.

“The vice president’s office wanted to chat with small local women businesses and reached out to me and I connected them with fiber,” Chapman told ALXnow. “It is definitely an honor that she selected Alexandria for her first visit outside the White House. It was great that she came across the river and spent time with us. “

Romanetti got a call from the White House on Friday and opened her shop at 2 p.m. after the visit, talking about the relief small businesses will experience if the bill is passed.

Harris’ staff communications officers said the vice president was discussing what women in the workforce were going through and how to provide them with the support they needed.

“It’s really easy to talk to and it’s been very pleasant,” said Romanetti. “Her daughter Ella is a knit designer who was just in Vogue. you just signed a contract with a designer to create a knitting line. “

Fiber Space was one of several businesses that did one heavy hit from the pandemic last year. The deal got through last year on a PPP loan, a COVID-19 loan for economic injury, and two small federally funded corporate grants from the city.

“I am confident that this law will be passed and that a lot of money will go to small businesses,” said Romanetti. “Many entrepreneurs wonder if there is more credit available. We also need vaccines and we need schools to reopen safely because these are big problems for business owners too. That is also a big part of the discharge act. “

Shop employee Maiya Davis spoke to her about her pandemic experience. She has been working there for two and a half years and had to completely change her life in March of last year.

“We basically had to learn new jobs overnight,” said Davis. “It was a job that kept changing depending on the struggles we faced that day. We were dealing with stressed customers, we suddenly had to run a web shop, which we hadn’t done before. And then we also had to cope with the loss of our common room. “

Alexandria marketing strategist Maurisa Potts was also in attendance and shared the experiences of dozens of her small business clients with Harris.

“From my point of view that I need to serve these customers and get their message across and communicate the difficulties and innovations that have happened during that time, an aid package like this will help them a lot,” said Potts.

Vernon Miles and James Cullum contributed to this article.

Photos over Peter Velz / Twitter and fiber space

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