On September 5, 2023, the State of Virginia announced Business District Resurgence (VBDRG) grants for 45 community economic revitalization projects across the state.
The funded projects are designed to revitalize historic commercial districts, expand small businesses, and bolster the local economies.
In total, the 45 projects will support 647 businesses, create or expand 53 businesses, train 140 entrepreneurs, provide 112 façade and downtown improvement projects and leverage more than $980,000 in private investment.
“Virginia is open for business, and my administration recognizes the importance of building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems and investing in our historic downtowns to make Virginia the best place to do business in the nation,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“These investments will ensure that, as we grow Virginia’s economy, we are supporting our local economies and creating strategic economic opportunities while preserving the unique character of these communities across the Commonwealth,” he continued.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers all four programs, and the funding is utilized to support small business creation and expansion, as well as the revitalization of historic downtown and Virginia Main Street districts.
CBL projects 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.
VMS Downtown Investment Grants support Advancing Virginia Main Street communities and 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.
VMS Community Vitality Grants assist organizations and communities in achieving their downtown revitalization goals and are available to all active Exploring Main Street and Mobilizing Main Street communities and organizations.
VBDRG projects support Virginia-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to build their capacity and increase economic activity in distressed communities throughout the Commonwealth.
“These grant programs allow us to provide targeted assistance to address the unique challenges facing Virginia’s small businesses, downtowns and historic districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick.
“We look forward to seeing the economic opportunities and growth that these projects will inspire while preserving the unique culture and history that make these Virginia downtown areas consumer destinations and the best place to live, work and do business,” she added.
Photo of Community Business Launch courtesy of DHCD.