Congratulations to nine local Richmond businesses, six in the Church Hill community and three in the Manchester community, on receiving Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) grant awards in 2021! This grant funding totaled $141,000 and these new or small businesses will also receive business coaching services on marketing, financing and other needs.
The overall goal of this opportunity is to help these businesses expand and become more resilient while bringing greater commercial activity and job opportunities to the Richmond community.
“It is a joy to recognize these small businesses every year, but especially this year considering all of the challenges and adversity they’ve had to overcome,” Brenda Woodcock, chief nursing officer in our Richmond market, shares. “We are proud of what’s been accomplished with the SEED program over the years and are thrilled to expand its incredible offerings to help foster new growth, revitalization and entrepreneurship in the Manchester community as well.”
Since 2011, the SEED program has provided $718,751 in grants to 38 small businesses along the 25th Street and Nine Mile Corridor in Richmond’s East End. These grants have proved vital in supporting small businesses that are now staples in the community: Sub Rosa Bakery, Soul N’ Vinegar, Proper Pie Company, Favour Cookie Company, Chocolates by Kelly and more.
Our ministry originally decided to launch this commercial corridor program, along with LISC Virginia, in Church Hill given both organizations’ commitments to and history with Richmond’s East End community. LISC VA has invested more than $17 million in Church Hill since 1990 and we at Bon Secours have operated Richmond Community Hospital in the neighborhood since 1995. Both partners also wanted to design a program that would both protect economic opportunities for current residents and serve the growing Richmond population looking for a vibrant commercial life.
Since launching the program, SEED businesses have been featured in national publications. The SEED program was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a promising approach for improving a community’s social determinants of health by enhancing economic and job opportunities.
After more than a decade of success in supporting growth and cultivating commercial corridor revitalization among East End business, SEED program proudly expanded in 2021 to serve small businesses located in the Manchester community between Route 1 and Commerce Road along the Hull Street corridor.
The 2021 SEED awardees include four first-time award recipients:
- Green Olive Eatery
- LaFox Hair Design
- Manchester Groom Saloon
- Spotty Dog
As well as five returning award recipients:
- Bare Soul Yoga
- Alexander’s Cleaners
- Carolina Bar B Que
- Jade Salon