Hopewell VA Offers Seed Money to Attract New Business. Applications Due February 28

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The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has launched a program to attract new business to downtown Hopewell with grant money for start-up expenses. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

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Renovation in Downtown Hopewell

What’s not immediately apparent to those outside Hopewell is what a great sense of community there is in Hopewell

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has launched a program to attract new business to downtown Hopewell with grant money for start-up expenses. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Interested entrepreneurs can apply online at http://www.hopewelldowntown.com for an opportunity to earn the seed money. About 20 applications have been received to-date. Deadline for the applications is February 28. The program will start in March with an eight-week intensive business training course leading to a business plan competition in May, at which time the grant recipients will be chosen.

The Hopewell Community Business Launch (CBL) is a pilot program developed through a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Hopewell, located 20 miles south of Richmond, is one of three localities chosen by the state to implement the program.

In December of 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that three communities would receive $100,000 each to kick-start this Community Business Launch program as part of the State’s new economic development plan. Through a competitive application process, the communities of Hopewell, Staunton, and Gloucester were selected.

Evan Kaufman, executive director of The Hopewell Downtown Partnership, says, “Our grant recipients will get in on the ground floor of our revitalization and be part of the grand reopening of Downtown Hopewell!” In this first phase of development, Kaufman would like to have around 10 new businesses opening downtown by the end of the year. Three are already in the works.

Dave McCormack of Waukeshaw Development, who has been in the news recently for the proposed development of a brewery and restaurant in a former ice and coal plant in Petersburg, Virginia, has plans for a similar development in Hopewell. His $600,000 Hopewell project will likely include a restaurant with craft beer and an adjacent doughnut shop on East Broadway Avenue in what used to be a barber shop.

“What’s not immediately apparent to those outside Hopewell is what a great sense of community there is in Hopewell,” says McCormack. “You start to wonder why more development hasn’t happened here. It’s an underserved market. I predict the same type of development we see now in Petersburg will happen soon in Hopewell, especially with the help and encouragement from the Hopewell Downtown Partnership.”

In addition to McCormack’s project, the Downtown Partnership helped facilitate a matching $387,000 grant last year with CAPUP to develop Guncotton Coffee and Art Gallery in a former furniture store at 238 East Broadway. The café and art gallery are expected to open later this year.

About The Hopewell Downtown Partnership:
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP) was formed in 2007 to help revitalize Hopewell’s historic downtown district. The City of Hopewell has committed over $15 Million to the downtown over the past 12 years, which recently culminated in the renovation and reopening of the 87-year-old Beacon Theatre on Main Street in January 2014. The HDP is implementing the Main Street Four Point Approach, a nationally trademarked model for revitalizing historic downtown districts by building partnerships among various groups that have a stake in the local commercial district.

For more information on the Hopewell Community Business Launch, visit http://www.hopewelldowntown.com.

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