Several local business owners, organizations receive $4.4M in grants aimed for economic recovery in Virginia


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RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Several business owners and organizations in Hampton Roads are taking a bite out of $4.4 million in grants that will go towards their investment projects.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the grants aimed at supporting business development and economic recovery across the commonwealth.

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The grants will be administered to help redevelop deteriorated structures which will lead to more long-term employment opportunities for local residents.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball says the funding will communities affected by the pandemic expand their job growth, nurture entrepreneurial ecosystems

Awardees in Hampton Roads are:

  • 2510 Jefferson Avenue | $250,000
    • City of Newport News
    • The city of Newport News will renovate a 1930-building into retail and office space. The Newport News Economic Development Authority acquired this property in June 2020. Since the acquisition, the city has created the Critical Community Improvements Plan, which outlines the plan for the 2510 Jefferson Avenue building. The project is expected to create and/or support 11 full-time positions.
  • 757 Makerspace – Peninsula Expansion | $100,000
    • Economic Development Authority of the City of Hampton | City of Hampton
    • A spin-off of the successful 757 Makerspace in Norfolk, this project creates access to the same resources North of the James and expands access to these resources closer to innovators affiliated with NASA, Langley AFB, Newport News Shipbuilding, VIMS, Hampton University, William & Mary, and all of their suppliers. This project will be executed in partnership with Hampton Public Schools’ vocational/technical programs, including BIPOC students and their families. Through the StartWheel online platform, they will promote entrepreneurial activities and early-stage startup businesses in the area.
  • Expansion of Bloom Co-Working Space and Incubator | $100,000
    • Partnership Development Foundation | City of Portsmouth
    • The Partnership Development Foundation will support the expansion of the Bloom coworking and incubator space in Portsmouth, which will provide local startups and micro-companies targeted resources and educational programming to grow into successful businesses. Bloom is currently providing subsidized space and services for small-business owners to help them recover and pivot as necessary. This space will target Portsmouth small businesses and veterans, minorities, persons with a disability, and women. This incubation and co-working space seeks to increase the availability of co-working space, increase the revenue of associated businesses and individuals, and increase job creation.
  • Childcare Business Support in the Historic Triangle | $100,000
    • Inner Peace Coalition Inc. | City of Williamsburg and County of James City
    • Inner Peace Coalition Inc., in partnership with James City County Department of Social Services, will provide business support services to small, woman-, minority- and immigrant-owned businesses in the Historic Triangle area, with an emphasis on businesses providing child care services. Inner Peace Coalition Inc. plans to conduct outreach, training and ongoing mentorship to new and existing business owners. The organization will train at least 150 entrepreneurs and create at least two new businesses.
  • Southeast Commercial District Business Assistance | $86,000
    • Newport News Economic Development Authority | City of Newport News
    • The Newport News Economic Development Authority (NNEDA) will support existing small business growth and entrepreneurship in the southeast commercial district, a historically underserved and disadvantaged area of Newport News. In partnership with the Women’s Empowerment Development, NNEDA plans to offer hands-on technical and financial assistance to small businesses in the community as well as distributed commercial locations within the broader Southeast Community.
  • Southeast Community Commercial District Strategic Action Plan | $50,000
    • City of Newport News
    • Womens Empowerment Development Inc., (WED), in partnership with the city of Newport News Economic Development Authority (NNEDA), will develop a strategic action plan for the Southeast Community in the historic Jefferson Avenue and Chestnut Avenue commercial districts. WED will conduct an assessment of potential gaps and opportunities to support the business ecosystem and to provide an inclusive framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization and vitality, entrepreneurship readiness, and start-up SWaM business support services.
  • B-Force Accelerator | $50,000
    • Black Brand | City of Portsmouth
    • Black Brand will expand capacity of the existing microenterprise assistance, B-Force Accelerator program. This expansion will provide technical assistance and training workshops to early stage minority business owners to increase their ability to access capital, scale up, increase revenue, decrease expenses, and develop a professional network.

Check out the rest of the awardees HERE.

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