Businesses to help offset cost of new tolls

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by Eric Kane, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on February 1, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 1 at 12:38 AM

NORFOLK — Businesses in Portsmouth and Norfolk seeking to ease the toll burden on their customers who travel across the water.
 
Over the years the Stove Restaurant in Portsmouth has attracted a loyal following of people craving its unique flare of southern mid-atlantic cusine. And its owner, Sydney Meers, plans to keep it that way.         
 
"We're kind of excited about it, because we're going to have to pay for everybody that comes through that tunnel,” Meers said.
 
Meers says decided months ago to reimburse his customers up to four dollars for driving through the tubes to get to his restaurant in Port Norfolk.
"Four dollars! They've reduced it a little bit so the extra money will go towards your gasoline for coming over and coming back,” Meers said.
 
Across the Elizabeth River, Norma Dorey, owner of Changes City Spa in Ghent, has a similar plan in place for her Norfolk line of spas and salons.                
 
"We felt like we wanted to be part of the solution, rather than part of the challenge for clients having second thoughts about maybe they would find another hair dresser or nail technician on the other side of the river," explained Dorey.
 
Based on the time of their appointment, Dorey plans to reimburse her customers for their trip through across the water.  
 
Both owners say they just want to give back to the community they serve.
 
"I think tomorrow, [Saturday] at the beginning of dinner, we're going to toast champagne with all of the employees,” said Meers. “We're going to stand out there, look at the cars, and root them on, get on in here, show us that EZ Pass!”
 

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