Governor McAuliffe announces $420,000 for Virginia Community Business Launch grants

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced $420,000 in Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) grants for the towns of Pulaski, Vinton, Marion and Strasburg, as well as the cities of Lynchburg, Petersburg and Martinsville. CBL is designed to assist communities in taking a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Through the Community Business Launch program, we are helping our communities develop a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem where community-based businesses will continue to grow and thrive.  In order to grow, diversify and build a new Virginia economy, we must focus on small business development in communities across the Commonwealth.”

The CBL program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL provides the tools to effectively prepare multiple entrepreneurs to operate successful businesses in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district and allow them to compete for funding to launch their new endeavor.

“Entrepreneurism is one of our key strategies for diversifying and growing the economy in all parts of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “The Community Business Launch program was a success in its first year, helping to launch or expand more than 14 businesses in three communities across the state.  We look forward to more business creation as a result of these investments.”

While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL will give rise to many budding entrepreneurs that have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to be successful businesses. In addition, it will help communities begin to develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches and supports community-based entrepreneurs and small business at all levels of development.

2016 Virginia Community Business Launch Grantees:

Locality Organization/Applicant CBL Award
Town of Pulaski Beans and Rice Inc. $60,000
City of Martinsville Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth $60,000
Town of Vinton The Advancement Foundation $60,000
Town of Marion Town of Marion $60,000
Town of Strasburg Town of Strasburg $60,000
City of Petersburg City of Petersburg $60,000
City of Lynchburg City of Lynchburg $60,000

For photos from the announcement in Petersburg, click here.

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Restaurants planned for Broadway

Check out this great article from the Hopewell News about Hopewell’s continued business development in their downtown district:

The city is one step closer to getting a new business in downtown. A deal was finalized recently for the purchase of 246 E. Broadway and the plans call for a doughnut shop and a restaurant, though the concept of the restaurant is still in the works.

Dave McCormack, president of Waukeshaw Development Inc., purchased the building, with the demolition already taking place, and is working toward making it a destination for the people of Hopewell and the surrounding communities.

“We’re not totally nailed down on the second concept, so it will be two restaurants in that space,” he said. “We’re going to try to do something really cool and just try to bring a little bit more life to East Broadway.”

The building, located at 246 E. Broadway, was closed on over a month ago, McCormack said. He said by the end of the year, he hopes one side of the restaurant will be opened with the other side to follow and the entire project to be completed by next spring.

Earlier this year McCormack participated in the Community Business Launch Program, through the Hopewell Downtown Partnership. The program offered eight weeks, with three hours per week, of courses in the lessons of starting up a business and business development practices. McCormack was one of the four winners, receiving a $20,000 grant geared towards start-up expenses. He won for his concept of Fat Babs, a doughnut shop. The other winners were Marilyn Craig, with a $15,000 grant for her concept, a restaurant called The Greedy Spoon, Lamonz Taylor, with his concept of the “anti-gym,” K&J Fitness, also awarded with a $15,000 grant, and Craig Richards, for a $20,000 grant for Sweet Tooth, a chocolate and candy shop.

McCormack said Evan Kaufman, executive director of the Hopewell Downtown Partnership, was instrumental in getting him to the table and getting him involved with the program. McCormack praised the program, saying it was successful to the Hopewell community.

Read the entire article here.

Governor McAuliffe announces 14 winners of first-ever Community Business Launch

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that 14 entrepreneurs were awarded grants to open or expand their businesses through the Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) initiative. The pilot program supports small business development and included three $100,000 grants to Gloucester, Staunton and Hopewell.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Entrepreneurship and small business development are important components of my administration’s strategy to build a new Virginia economy.  The CBL Initiative fosters strong ecosystems for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Virginia’s communities, an indispensable ingredient for them to thrive.”

“Job growth in the Commonwealth requires entrepreneurs and small businesses in every community across the state. CBL is demonstrating the power of public and private sector partners collaborating to create and sustain best-in-class business environments that help our communities prosper,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.

CBL utilizes local business competitions to find and foster entrepreneurs that connect with a community’s unique small business development strategy and vision for its future. This year’s entrepreneurs went through a rigorous eight-week course to comprehensively prepare to operate successful businesses in their downtown or neighborhood commercial district. The competition ended with a pitch night where the participating entrepreneurs gave brief presentations of their business and their plan for moving forward. In each community, several winners were chosen to receive grants and in-kind support for the launch or expansion of their business. In addition to the grants provided through CBL, additional local partnerships provided marketing, rental and utility assistance to numerous winners and even funded an additional $5,000 grant for an additional business.

Winners from the 2015 CBL include:
Staunton

Business Name Owner Grant Amount
Latitudes Fair Trade Store Anna Schoenduby $12,000
EccoHollow Art and Sound Wavley Groves $10,000
3 Snugbugs Studios Patty Brower $10,000
106.3FM WQSV Community Radio Tom DuMontier $10,000
Staunton Olive Oil Company Michelle Gallaugher $4,000
Traipse Darren Smith $4,000

Gloucester

Business Name Owner Grant Amount
Sweet Tooth Parlor Crystal Burton $20,000
The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography Karin Fary $10,000
Essential Wellness Bodywork Jill Reece and Ginger Platsis $5,000

Hopewell

Business Name Owner Grant Amount
Fat Babs Dave McCormack $20,000
Sweet Tooth Craig Richards $20,000
The Greedy Spoon Marilyn Craig $15,000
K and J Fitness Lamonz Tyler $15,000

 

 

Launch Gloucester announces winners

CBL GloucesterA bakery and cafe, a business catering to pets and pet owners and a massage and wellness clinic will be the newest businesses to open or expand on Main Street following Tuesday night’s Launch Gloucester awards ceremony.

Participants in the entrepreneur contest that launched earlier this year also got a surprise element when the Cook Foundation granted a $5,000 award to the sole business in the competition with an arts component.

The three winners, and the fourth that won the Cook Foundation prize, were among 10 businesses whittled down from an original field that exceeded 40 when Launch Gloucester got under way last year. The entrepreneurs vied for a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch a business on Main Street.

The businesses are on a schedule to open in September, although at least one tandem of business owners said they will be ready to open sooner.

The Launch Gloucester program was one of three in the state that are part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative. The Launch Gloucester program is overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.

Crystal Burton secured a first-place prize valued at more than $48,000. This includes $20,000 in capital, $1,800 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $19,000. In addition, Burton will receive a 60-second commercial and a grand opening party.

Burton operates the Sweet Tooth Parlor in the current Wild Rabbit Cafe and plans to expand her business into a full bakery and cafe. Specializing in vegetarian, gluten free, low carb and healthy choices, Burton said she will have something for everyone.

Burton plans to take a farm-to-table approach and buy goods locally, such as eggs, fruits and vegetables, and use them in her recipes. She not only wants to make her meals as fresh as possible, but also wants to support local farmers in the area.

Her café menu will include items such as sourdough bread bowls, seasonal soups, sandwiches and customizable salads, all made from scratch. Burton will also offer a boxed lunch service with free delivery to Main Street businesses.

Karin Fary won the second-place prize valued at more than $30,000, which includes $10,000 in capital, $1,200 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package valued at $13,000. Fary will open a business offering stylish clothing, accessories, collars and leashes for pets called “The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography.” The business will offer pet photography and several products such as grooming supplies, organic treats and cat and dog products.

Jill Reece and Ginger Platsis were the third-place winners for their business to be called “Essential Wellness and Bodywork.” Reece and Platsis are already operating just off of Main Street but will be moving onto Main Street. Their prize is valued at more than $18,000 and includes $5,000 in capital, $600 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package valued at more than $9,000. Reece and Platsis intend to touch lives from the inside out, offering massage and holistic wellness services. Platsis said she was happy and amazed they won. Reece said they intend to open before September.

In addition to the awards, each winner will receive one-year memberships to the Gloucester Main Street Association, business resources and continued education from Margie Johnson of ShopTalk, who coordinated the eight weeks of business classes for the Launch Gloucester group. The winners will also receive priority status with the Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

George Cramer, operating “The Village Blacksmith,” received a $5,000 prize from the Cook Foundation  for a business with an arts element. Cramer’s business will provide custom metal work, blacksmithing, bladesmithing, reproduction, restoration, repair, welding, fabrication training and consulting on low- to high-end custom metal work.

Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, said the new businesses will help make Gloucester Village a destination to live, work, and play while increasing economic activity.

For more information about the Launch Gloucester program, and to learn more about the entrepreneur training they participated in for eight weeks, the judges who heard the business plans and ideas and the event’s partners, visit www.LaunchGloucester.com.

For more information about the Community Business Launch, visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov.

Building Collaborative Communities and Community Business Launch How-to-Apply Workshops announced

CBL-BCC1The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has announced funding is available for the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) and Community Business Launch (CBL) programs for fiscal year 2015-2016.

DHCD grant programs offer flexible resources to do more across your community and region. Register below for one of the how-to-apply workshops to learn about the programs, the successful projects they have funded in the past, program changes for the coming year and how you can best position your effort.

Building Collaborative Communities

Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) provides resources and technical assistance to distressed regions to stimulate job creation and economic development while building community capacity and leadership. Grants must be multi-jurisdictional and can fund a range of projects and activities which will foster regional economic growth and increase collaboration and investment from a broad and diverse contingent of stakeholder groups.

Community Business Launch

The Community Business Launch (CBL) is designed to assist communities in taking a systems approach to building an asset-based small business development strategy. The program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. The CBL offers financial and content resources, guidance, and a learning network of communities pursuing similar strategies. By designing your own CBL, you can help your community develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches and supports community-based entrepreneurs.

Dates:

Wednesday, June 3
Charlottesville
10 a.m.

Thursday, June 4
Lynchburg
10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, June 9
Richmond
1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10
Hampton
10 a.m.

Wednesday, June 17
Abingdon
10 a.m.

Please register at least three days before the workshop to receive the location address and additional details. If you are unable to attend a workshop, please contactmichelle.d.jones@dhcd.virginia.gov for additional details.

Governor McAuliffe unveils the Virginia Community Business Launch

PrintGovernor Terry McAuliffe today unveiled the first ever Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) and announced the first three communities that will each receive up to $100,000 for small business development: The cities of Staunton and Hopewell and Gloucester Courthouse in Gloucester County. The pilot program is an initiative of Governor McAuliffe’s new Virginia economy Strategic Plan, falling under the pillars of economic development, entrepreneurship and small business development.

“Small business development is critical for building a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Through this new initiative, we are placing the community at the center of small business development in order to help Virginia entrepreneurs thrive and contribute to our state economy starting in their own backyards.”IMG_6523

The CBL is designed to assist communities in taking a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy.  The program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL will provide the tools to effectively prepare multiple entrepreneurs to operate successful businesses in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district and allow them to compete for funding to start up their new endeavor.

While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL will give rise to many budding entrepreneurs that have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to be successful businesses.  In addition, it will help communities begin to develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches and supports community-based entrepreneurs and small business at all levels of development.

“Small business is the backbone of communities around the Commonwealth. They provide jobs, they provide talent, and they end up leading our civic organizations and help our children to pursue their dreams,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Entrepreneurship is a key component of our economic strategy, and we want to foster the development of these individuals and their ideas.”

For more information about the Virginia Community Business Launch, visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov.