For Immediate Release: May 13, 2016
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christina Nuckols, christina.nuckols@governor.virginia.gov | Department of Housing and Community Development, Amanda Love, (804) 371-7006, amanda.pearson@dhcd.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces Two Business Winners of the Pop Up Marion Community Business Launch Program

~A fresh market and brewery received $20,000 to open in Marion~

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today the first two winners of the Pop Up Marion Community Business Launch (CBL) program.  Wolfe’s BBQ Fresh Market and Headspace Brewing Company will receive a $20,000 grant each to open their businesses in Marion. Administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, 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 who connect with that vision.

Speaking at today’s event, Governor McAuliffe said, “Virginia’s Community Business Launch program offers a new approach to support Virginia’s business strategies and truly places the community at the heart of entrepreneurial and small business development.  One of our key strategies for building a new Virginia economy is to encourage and foster small business growth, and this announcement today is progress for the town of Marion and entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth.”

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 start up their new endeavor. While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL gives rise to many budding entrepreneurs who have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to operate successful businesses. In addition, the program helps 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.

“Providing tools for Virginians to start or grow a business is a top priority for catalyzing growth in the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “This program is a smart investment that is encouraging entrepreneurs, filling our vacant Main Street buildings and creating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in our downtowns.”

Through the initial $300,000 allocation to the CBL program in 2015, three communities received $100,000 each and created 48 new jobs. The program also created and expanded 21 businesses and leveraged $1.25 million in other public and private investment.

For the 2016 CBL program, seven communities were awarded $60,000 each for entrepreneurs to participate in the program in their community. In addition to the town of Marion, those communities include: the towns of Pulaski, Vinton and Strasburg, as well as the cities of Martinsville, Lynchburg and Petersburg. Winners for each of the communities are being announced throughout the months of May and June.

“We are excited to have Governor McAuliffe in Marion to announce the winners of the Pop Up Marion Community Business Launch,” said Marion Mayor David Helms. “This funding is continuing to help our community grow our vibrant downtown that supports our small businesses.”

2016 Pop Up Marion Community Business Launch Winners:

Business

Owner

Grant Amount

Wolfe’s BBQ Fresh Market

Jill and Brett Wolfe

$20,000

Headspace Brewing Company

Tony Smith

$20,000

 

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