Like many businesses, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art is now closed in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The impact of shutdowns at private companies has led to a spike in layoffs and a sudden surge in unemployment.
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Phillip Patterson has worked in various positions at the Mar- riott Hotel in Downtown for the past eight years – housekeeping, bellman, shuttle driver and maintenance engineer. Elton G. Christian Jr., a veteran cook, has been serving up savory barbecue, ribs and brisket at Pig and Brew, a restaurant in South Side, for the past two years. Both never expected to be laid off.