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Open for Business Sign

10.07.2022
Grants will support entrepreneurial training and small business development Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced $180,000 in Community Business Launch (CBL) grants for the Downtown Lynchburg Association, Nelson County and the Waynesboro Economic Development Authority. CBL provides funding to offer training to entrepreneurs and conduct business plan competitions that align with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in Virginia’s downtown commercial districts.  “Virginia recognizes the importance of small business in local economies, and this program gives our communities across Virginia the flexibility required to address unique community-identified needs to ensure success for local entrepreneurs," said Governor Youngkin. “Virginia is open for business, and it is integral that we support the small businesses that are the heart of our commercial districts and the bedrock of our economy.”  CBL is administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and seeks to fill vacant storefronts with community-based expansion or startup ventures. Local CBL programs train entrepreneurs and small-business owners on business planning practices, culminating in a group of finalists pitching their ideas to a panel of judges with winners receiving grant funding and support services from the community to kick-start their new venture. Since 2015, $2,145,000 in CBL funds have been awarded to 33 communities, serving more than 650 participating entrepreneurs across Virginia. In total, CBL has leveraged more than $3 million in private investment, creating more than 170 businesses and over 365 new full-time jobs.  “The Community Business Launch program enables localities to identify what businesses fit into their vision for the future in their downtown districts and support these businesses beyond the grand opening,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “This important resource allows us to create and nurture strong local entrepreneurial ecosystems while diversifying our economy and revitalizing our downtowns.”  CBL grants are awarded through a competitive process. Six applications were received for this round of funding, requesting more than $315,000. The funded projects will create or expand 15 small businesses and create at least 15 new jobs in the communities.   Additional information on the Community Business Launch is available here.   2023 CBL Grantees:  Launch LYH  Downtown Lynchburg Association  $90,000  Lovingston Community Business Launch  Nelson County  $45,000  Grow Waynesboro: Main and Wayne 2023  Waynesboro Economic Development Authority  $45,000 

VMS Logo

10.07.2022
Grants will support economic vitality in downtown districts Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced Virginia Main Street grants for 16 communities totaling more than $257,000. The funded projects will revitalize historic commercial districts, expand small businesses and bolster local economies through new technology and improved marketing.   “For over 30 years, the Virginia Main Street program has been critical to economic development, small business growth and job development through the revitalization and preservation of our historic downtown districts,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I look forward to seeing the economic opportunity that these projects will spark while preserving and utilizing the historic character of their communities as well.”  Since 1985, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development has been providing assistance to localities engaged in downtown commercial district revitalization through the Virginia Main Street Program. Virginia uses the National Main Street Center’s comprehensive, incremental Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization, which is built around a community’s unique heritage, culture, and historic building attributes.  “Virginia Main Street continues to create opportunities for long-term economic growth throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These grants allow us to provide targeted support while preserving the unique cultures and histories that make Virginia’s downtown areas consumer destinations.”  VMS allocates funding for three types of grants: Downtown Investment Grants (DIG), Community Vitality Grants (CVG) and Financial Feasibility Grants (FFG). Downtown Investment Grants (DIG) are available only to Advancing Virginia Main Street communities and must be administered through the designated local VMS organization. Grants can be used to fund complete projects, provide seed funding for new projects or provide gap financing that allows a project to become fully funded.   Community Vitality Grants (CVG) are designed to assist organizations and communities in achieving their downtown revitalization goals. Grants are available to all active Exploring Main Street and Mobilizing Main Street communities and organizations, non-designated VMS program tiers. This funding supports projects that will create a positive impact on the downtown neighborhood’s long-term goals.  Financial Feasibility Grants (FFG) allow communities to work with owners of significant derelict buildings or structures with non-productive upper-floor space. This grant also allows for small-scale development by providing feasibility resources to new or beginning developers for buildings within the district.   In 2021 the state-designated and nationally accredited Main Street Communities in Virginia created or retained more than 700 jobs and 221 businesses, and generated public and private investments of approximately $76 million.  To learn more about the Virginia Main Street program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/vms.  A FULL LIST OF THE 2022 VIRGINIA MAIN STREET AWARDED PROJECTS CAN BE FOUND HERE. 

IEDC Annual Conference

10.07.2022
Awards included two gold and one bronze recipient recognition The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development received three distinguished awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its 2022 Excellence Awards at the recent IEDC Annual Conference. The awards honor organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects and programs. Virginia was recognized for the Community Business Launch, Industrial Revitalization Fund and Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia).   “Virginia’s IEDC awards are well-deserved recognition for the ongoing and innovative programs that are supporting our economic development efforts across Virginia,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The three awarded initiatives are a testament to our economic development work and exemplify my administration’s Day One promise to revitalize the Virginia economy so that it works for all Virginians.”  Community Business Launch won the Gold Award recipient recognition for the Entrepreneurship category. Between 2015 and 2021 the CBL program has been implemented in 33 communities, supporting the creation or expansion of approximately 158 businesses, more than 345 new jobs, and leveraged private investments of more than $2.64 million. The original pilot project featured three communities, Gloucester County and the cities of Staunton and Hopewell. Each community received $100,000 for funding to coordinate a six- to eight-week business course for new entrepreneurs and existing small businesses, who entered a pitch competition for seed funding in order to open their storefront.  Industrial Revitalization Fund won the Bronze Award recipient recognition for the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse category. This project supported the redevelopment of Trapezium Brewing, retail space, and residential units in Petersburg. The project generated construction, retail, hospitality, and small-scale production jobs directly as well as secondary job creation. The IRF program has provided funding for 38 projects since 2012 that have generated over $121 million in public and private investment, and created nearly 500 jobs.  Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) won the Gold Award recipient recognition for Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration. GO Virginia seeks to drive transformational, long-term regional strategies that make regions, and the companies that reside in them, more competitive. GO Virginia has engaged more than 185 local public partners in one or more regional economic development initiatives and has made more than $90 million in investments in four key areas – workforce development, sites/infrastructure development, the start-up ecosystem, and cluster scaling activities. Funded projects are expected to create more than 25,000 jobs and create new capacity to support future economic growth.    “Having strong regional economies and supportive, place-specific investments are the fulcrum upon which thriving communities rest, and these programs offer crucial support to achieve the Commonwealth’s economic development goals,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These awarded programs have helped bolster local economies, while offering targeted support for community-identified needs, and we are immensely proud of these prestigious honors.”  The IEDC Annual Conference features 25 award categories that honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. IEDC received over 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries.  

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Current state law requires landlords and tenants to cooperate with each other in matters regarding nonpayment of rent and applying for rental assistance based on income eligibility and availability of rental assistance funds. If you feel like this is not happening, you should contact an attorney to learn more about your legal rights.

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Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

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Check out the latest happenings in the Main Street and downtown revitalization world through the Virginia Main Street Blog.

2018 Code Development Process

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