Richmond Times-Dispatch

10 small businesses in East End get total of $125K in grants

- Fromstaff reports

A commercial cleaning company, a plant store with a cafe and a waste management company— all operating in Richmond’s East End— are among a total of 10 small businesses that have awarded grants totaling $125,000.

The 10 businesses received the funding through a program that seeks to spark entreprene­urship and job creation along the 25th Street and Nine Mile Road corridor.

The companies were recipients of this year’s Supporting East End Entreprene­urship Developmen­t, or SEED grants. The announceme­nt was made Wednesday.

Health care provider Bon Secours and community developmen­t organizati­on Virginia Local Initiative­s Support Corp., or LISC, created the grant program in 2011 as an economic developmen­t and job creation initiative for Richmond’s East End.

Capital One Financial Corp. and the local Retail Merchants organizati­on have partnered with Bon Secours and LISC for this year’s awards. Capital One joined Bon Secours in providing the funds for the grants, while Retail Merchants joined as fund administra­tor in partnershi­p with LISC.

Since 2011, grants totaling $639,500 have been awarded to 38 businesses in the city’s East End. Bon Secours has contribute­d $569,500 toward the smallbusin­ess grants, and since 2016, Capital One has donated $70,000.

“The SEED program is an important community initiative for Bon Secours,” said Faraaz Yousuf, president of Bon Secours Richmond. “For eight years, this program has been a catalyst for a new vibrancy in the East End. Weare thrilled to see new faces this year, as well as returning entreprene­urs, all ofwhomhave decided to make a difference in their community.”

A panel of six judges selected the grant winners.

Unlike in year’s past, organizers did not disclose the financial amounts of each grant to companies.

Three of the businesses are first-time award recipients while the remaining seven have received grants at some point since 2011. This year’s new recipients are:

♦ Glean, a commercial cleaning company that provides an

average hourly wage that is 30% higher than local competitor­s. Owner Nicole Mason will use the grant funds for transition from contractor­s to onstaff employees and for recruitmen­t efforts.

♦ Pomona, a plant and gift shop with a cafe at 2025 Venable St. Owners Melissa and Frayser Micou will use the grant funds to adapt its business with pandemic spatial and health modificati­ons and marketing.

♦ Walnut Alley, which provides waste management services for restaurant­s, apartments, landlords and parking lots. The grant funds will be used by owner Michael Wynn for marketing and promotiona­l materials.

Thesevenre­cipients that have received grants in the past and are receiving additional funds this year are:

♦ BareSOUL Yoga& Wellness, a yoga studio providing individual and group classes, educationa­l workshops and yoga therapy. Owner Ashley Williams will use the grant funds

Williams

to support business operations and expansion. C. Alexander’s Cleaners, an ecofriendl­y dry cleaners, laundry and alteration­s business at 2007 Venable St. Owner Marian Fields will use the grant funds to purchase new equipment. Carolina Bar B Que, a longtime Church

Hill neighborho­od restaurant on Nile

Mile Road providing homecooked style meals. Owner Alisha Hawkins will use the grant funds for exterior signage and marketing.

EZ Body & Auto Repair Service, a woman

owned auto repair shop. The grant funds will be used by owner Charlene SpencerTay­lor for system updates and machinery.

♦ Favour Cookie Co., a startup business offering vegan and glutenfree cookie dough. The grant funds will be used by owner Sequoia Ross for marketing and promotiona­l materials.

Jade Salon, amulticult­ural full-service hair care salon. Owner Jadia Cureton will use the grant funds for training and software implementa­tion.

Soul N’ Vinegar, a neighborho­od food store in Church Hill selling prepared foods and packaged meals and a cafe inside of the VCU Institute for Contempora­ry Art. Owner Michelle Parish will use the grant funds to refocus its community catering business to enable ready-to-eat takeaway meals.

 ??  ?? Mason
Mason
 ?? DOUG BUERLEIN PHOTOGRAPH­Y ?? Frayser and Melissa Micou own Pomona, a plant and gift shop with a cafe at 2025 Venable St.
DOUG BUERLEIN PHOTOGRAPH­Y Frayser and Melissa Micou own Pomona, a plant and gift shop with a cafe at 2025 Venable St.
 ?? DOUG BUERLEIN PHOTOGRAPH­Y ?? Michelle Parish and William Rimell are with Soul N’ Vinegar, a neighborho­od food store in Church Hill.
DOUG BUERLEIN PHOTOGRAPH­Y Michelle Parish and William Rimell are with Soul N’ Vinegar, a neighborho­od food store in Church Hill.
 ??  ?? SpencerTay­lor
SpencerTay­lor
 ??  ?? Hawkins
Hawkins
 ??  ?? Cureton
Cureton
 ??  ?? Fields
Fields
 ??  ?? Wynn
Wynn
 ??  ?? Ross
Ross

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States