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McAuliffe announces $240,000 in Community Business Launch funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced $240,000 in Community Business Launch awards for four communities in Virginia.

virginiaThe CBL program provides funding to local governments and nonprofit organizations to train entrepreneurs and conduct business plan competitions that align with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in Virginia’s downtown commercial districts.

“Downtown revitalization and bolstering entrepreneurship are important pieces of building the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Community Business Launch competitions provide a valuable step in preparing entrepreneurs to successfully fill vacant spaces and create exciting downtown districts, ensuring that Virginia is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I look forward to seeing how the localities selected use the funding to develop and grow a small business ecosystem in their communities.”

The Community Business Launch program is implemented through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development with a goal of assisting localities in their efforts to create new businesses and jobs that support their vision for revitalization.

“The Community Business Launch program involves stakeholders in identifying and supporting new businesses in their communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Since 2014, $1.2 million in CBL funding has been leveraged in nearly 20 communities across the Commonwealth. These local competitions prepare small business owners for the rigors of operating in today’s rapidly changing commercial climate, and I look forward to seeing these new businesses grow as a result of this program.”


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Projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with the capacity to implement a successful campaign, alignment with regional or local strategies, and the availability of matching resources. Four of the six applicants submitted were selected for funding.

Grantee Locality Amount
Main Street Lexington City of Lexington $60,000
Downtown Wytheville, Inc. Town of Wytheville $60,000
Smyth County Chamber of Commerce Town of Chilhowie $60,000
St. Paul Tomorrow, Inc. Town of St. Paul $60,000

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