McAuliffe announces $233,995 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies grants

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $233,995 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies grant awards for seven projects across Virginia. The BEE grant program provides funding to localities and nonprofit organizations for entrepreneurship programs aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in distressed communities and populations.

virginia“The grants announced today support local entrepreneurship programs that are critical to our efforts to build the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “By supporting small business programs across the Commonwealth, we can bring new life and revitalization to local communities helping spur future public and private sector economic development investment.”

BEE funds are intended to leverage local and private resources that will result in business development, job creation, and the growth of new, innovative programs to encourage entrepreneurship in Virginia. The implementation grants are awards up to $40,000 for projects that expand coverage for small business support services or implement innovative ideas that have been funded previously and field tested through the BEE planning grant program. Planning grants are awards of up to $15,000 to research, develop, and plan for a potential project.

“Targeted public sector grants, partnered with private sector investments, can be incredibly helpful in bolstering an enhanced entrepreneurial ecosystem in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “The competitive funding announced today and the local leverage and effort behind these programs will contribute to new businesses and job opportunities across the Commonwealth.  I congratulate the eleven localities who are leveraging this $234,000 in grant funding to support entrepreneurial efforts to build the new Virginia economy.”

Twelve applications totaling nearly $301,000 in funding were received. Projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with innovative efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, alignment with regional or local strategies, and the availability of matching resources. The following projects were awarded funding through the 2018 Building Entrepreneurial Economies program:


2017 BEE Implementation Grants

ApplicantProject NameAward Offer
University of Virginia’s College at Wise (Wise County, City of Norton and the Town of Wise)“The Nest” Entrepreneur Hub$40,000
Virginia Western Community College (City of Roanoke and Roanoke County)RAMP: Bridging the Gap$40,000
City of HarrisonburgRetail Gardening: Harrisonburg & Rockingham County$40,000
Main Street Lexington (City of Lexington)Lexington Collaboratory$40,000
Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation (City of Covington and Alleghany County)Alleghany Highlands Entrepreneurial Future$38,300
City of HamptonSTART Peninsula$20,695


2017 BEE Planning Grants

ApplicantProject NameAward Offer
BizWorks Enterprise Center (Chesterfield County)SMART Planning Grant$15,000

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