Monthly Archives: February 2016

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.9 Million in Industrial Revitalization Funds

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced more than $1.9 million in Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) awards for the city of Lynchburg, Bedford County and the towns of Boones Mill and Warrenton. IRF provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in distressed communities.

Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Warrenton, Governor McAuliffe said, “Small business growth is critical as we work to diversify and build a new Virginia economy, and viable small business strategies will help bring new investment and job creation to the Commonwealth.  The redevelopment of properties like this is key to the revitalization of historic downtown areas and helping the region to attract businesses and visitors.”

IRF is intended to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of dilapidated structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and on-going physical and economic revitalization. Since the inception of the program in 2012, IRF has invested more than $7.7 million in these structures throughout the Commonwealth. The funding has leveraged more than $46.6 million in additional funding from both private and public entities, and more than 170 jobs are being created from these projects.

“By leveraging public and private resources, we are able to create support for the project and invest in the revitalization of these communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “These four projects will spur nearly $34 million in total development for the four localities and bring new life into these communities to make them better places to live, work and raise a family.”

The 2016 IRF projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located and an identified and feasible end use.

The maximum award is $600,000 per project. Thirteen applications totaling almost $7 million in funding were received. The funds are intended to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of these derelict structures, creating catalysts for long-term employment opportunities and on-going physical and economic revitalization.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2016 IRF program:

 

Locality Project Name Award Offer
Town of Boones Mill Boones Mill Industrial Park Revitalization $ 600,000
Bedford County Bedford Brewery Block Development $ 600,000
Town of Warrenton Wort Hog Brewery $ 600,000
City of Lynchburg Academy of Music Theatre $ 186,000

Governor McAuliffe announces $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) awards for five projects in the Commonwealth. The BEE program provides funding to nonprofits and local governments to assist with the development of local and regional entrepreneurial economies that foster job creation and expansion by small businesses.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “In order to create jobs and build a new Virginia economy, we must help develop and grow our small businesses by creating and maintaining entrepreneurial environments in our communities.  Through the BEE program, we are assisting organizations and local governments that are supporting place- and community-based entrepreneurship in their communities.”

BEE offers several types of grants, including implementation and planning. The implementation grants are awards up to $75,000 for projects that expand coverage for small business support services or implement innovative ideas that have already been funded and field tested through the BEE planning grant. Planning grants are awards of up to $7,500 to research, develop and plan for a potential project.

“Helping communities develop and sustain an ecosystem that catalyzes entrepreneurship is a key strategy in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This program equips communities with the right tools, services and financing to create a quality environment for business start-ups and expansions.”

Ten applications totaling approximately $276,000 in funding were received. Applications were competitively evaluated, scored and ranked based on criteria including organizational and personnel capacity, reasonable goals, alignment with local or regional community’s vision for economic and community development and various other items.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2016 Building Entrepreneurial Economies program:

BEE Implementation Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
BizWorks Enterprise Center Chesterfield County Start Smart Program      $ 23,505
City of Galax City of Galax Jump! Galax (Phase I)      $ 25,000
Total:  $ 48,505                          


BEE Planning Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
Beans and Rice Inc. Pulaski, Montgomery, Floyd and Giles counties Launch Something NRV $7,500
STEP Inc. Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties Entrepreneurship Training Center $7,500
IA Foundation for Kids City of Roanoke The Making Foundation $7,500
Total: $22,500

Governor McAuliffe Announces $150,000 in Virginia Main Street Grants

Governor McAuliffe announced today $150,000 in Virginia Main Street funding for 10 projects in Virginia. The grants, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), include Downtown Investment Grants (DIG) and Financial Feasibility Grants targeting areas of specific need in historic downtown neighborhoods located in designated Virginia Main Street communities. Through the communities it serves, the Virginia Main Street Program has generated more than $716 million dollars in private investments and also created 15,621 jobs.

Speaking at today’s announcement at an event in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe said, “These grants will create jobs and provide a needed boost to communities that are working hard to revitalize historic downtown neighborhoods.  Virginia is home to so many cities and towns that are ready to thrive as centers of tourism and commerce. I am proud to partner with them and help make every Virginia Main Street a better place to live, work and start a business.”

Through the Downtown Investment Grants, $112,500 will be awarded to Main Street organizations in the designated communities of the towns of Bedford, Bristol, Culpeper, Luray, Marion and Staunton. These grants are available to designated Main Street organizations to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts by helping implement innovative strategies, plans and programs that create an environment for increased, accelerated private investment.

A total of $37,500 in Financial Feasibility Grants will be awarded to the Main Street organizations in the towns of Altavista, Blackstone, Hopewell and St. Paul. These grants are intended to assist owners of “white elephant” buildings identify their highest and best use and fund development of preliminary engineering reports, preliminary architecture reports, market demand studies and gap-financing research.  These grants often lead to more prompt redevelopment and leverage private investment.

“In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $148 million in private investment in their districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “By providing funding for downtown improvement projects, we will continue to bring new life to these historic downtown communities and encourage economic growth and continued private and public investment.”

In 1985, DHCD adopted the Main Street program for Virginia to help prevent downtown districts across the Commonwealth from economic decline and possible demolition.  This unique program works to re-energize economic development of downtown communities while utilizing their cultural assets and character.  This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of their local civic and business leaders who are determined to bring their Main Street communities back to life. The innovative Four-Point Approach © program uses design, promotion, economic restructuring and organization to reach their goal to help localities build better communities.  Virginia Main Street works with 25 designated communities throughout Virginia. 

2016 Virginia Main Street Downtown Investment Grants:

Organization Project Name Award
Bedford Main Street Building Improvement Revolving Loan Program $ 20,000
Believe in Bristol Downtown Bristol Wayfinding System $ 20,000
Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. Urban Plaza Transformation $ 12,500
Luray Downtown Initiative Brown Building/Bridge Theater Project $ 15,000
Marion Downtown Revitalization Association Building Improvement Revolving Loan Program $ 20,000
Staunton Downtown Development Association Shop. Staunton. First. $ 25,000

 

 

 

2016 Virginia Main Street Financial Feasibility Grants:

Organization Project Name Award
Altavista On Track 616 Broad Project $ 10,000
Downtown Blackstone, Inc. Harris Memorial Armory $ 10,000
Hopewell Downtown Partnership Community Kitchen $ 15,000
St. Paul Tomorrow Bryan Property $  2,500

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.5 Million in Community Development Block Grants

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today more than $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for Scott County and the town of Brodnax. Scott County will receive $530,000 for the Scott County Riverside Offsite Utilities Project through the CDBG Community Economic Development Fund, and the town of Brodnax will receive $1 million for the Brodnax Water System Improvements Project through the CDBG Competitive Grant Program.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The CDBG program has been an invaluable tool in Virginia’s ongoing effort to kick start economic development in communities that are ready to grow. These grants will lay a foundation for future vitality and contribute to our work building a new Virginia economy in every corner of our state.”

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia receives up to $17 million annually for this grant program. Most CDBG grant funds are awarded through a competitive process.

“In order to create strong, resilient and sustainable communities, we need to help localities improve their infrastructure assets, especially in rural parts of Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “These community development projects are great examples of federal, state and local partners working together as a team to make the Commonwealth a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Scott County project will provide infrastructure improvements to the Riverside Industrial Park. The improvements include the installation of water and sewer lines, storm water control facilities and 3,400 linear feet of broadband conduit. This grant is expected to create 300 jobs, with at least 51 being made available to low- to moderate-income persons. The Community Economic Development Program recognizes the need to be responsive to economic development opportunities in eligible localities. The funding is available for projects involving the location, expansion or retention of a basic industry and is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from January 1 through the end of September.

The town of Brodnax water project will upgrade and replace aging waterlines that are providing water to residents. The project will install more than 12,000 linear feet of waterline and install 16 fire hydrants in the community. This project is expected to benefit 344 persons, with 53 percent of households being low- to moderate-income.

During this year’s competitive cycle, 21 projects were submitted by localities throughout the Commonwealth. The initial allocation of this program included 12 localities, totaling more than $8.2 million in grants.

2015 CDBG Community Economic Development Fund:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Scott County Scott County Riverside Offsite Utilities Project $530,000

2015 CDBG Competitive Grant Program:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Town of Brodnax Brodnax Water System Improvements Project $1,000,000