CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, 3News' Russ Mitchell moderated a town hall forum ahead of the upcoming Cleveland mayoral election between Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley.
Present at the Wednesday night forum held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse was none other than Sauce the City owner Victor Searcy Jr., who wanted to know what the two candidates plan to do for local business owners.
"What economical strategies do you guys have to reassure small business people all around the city," asked Searcy Jr, who goes by "Chef Vick." "What will be the impact if one of you guys became mayor?"
Chef Vick explained that the last year and a half has been hard for his restaurant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"During the pandemic, we were the first to be hit and the last to open up," Chef Vick said, explaining his reasoning for showing up to the forum.
"I wanted to figure out where the two candidates stood when it came to small businesses. I really wanted to be there to be a voice and to also to pin my ears to these two candidates," Vick said.
So, how did Bibb and Kelley respond to Chef Vick's question?
"City hall must be structured in a way where we are moving at the speed of businesses being agile and that's how you'll know you have a mayor in city hall that's working to make sure you stay afloat in the city and thrive long term as a businesses owner," Bibb said.
"It is critical that we pay attention to those who were hurt the most it's critical that we pay attention and direct apar funds and recovery dollars to those that need the recovery dollars," responded Kelley.
"in their responses, I kind of was able to get a great perception of the two candidates," Vick says. "I'm kinda in between the both of them."
You can watch the full town hall between Kelley and Bibb in the player below: