~ ‘Homegrown for Hopewell’: Community Business Pitch Competition & Free Business Bootcamp ~
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2022
Entrepreneurs and creatives from the region are competing in the final round of HDP’s Business Pitch Competition — Homegrown for Hopewell — in Downtown Hopewell this Thursday, May 26 from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Guncotton Coffee located at: 238 E. Broadway. This event is open to the public. “Five professionals representing local and regional business organizations and financial institutions are serving on the judges’ panel.” The overarching goals of this program are to: a) support local entrepreneurs b) create and / or expand three new businesses that will create at least five jobs and fill at least three vacant commercial spaces in the Hopewell Downtown Historic District, c) increase commercial activity and density in the area.
Participants are vying for a portion of the $30,000 prize package which also includes lease incentives from property owners, access to co-working space and resources at Virginia State University’s Minority Small Business Launch Center one year of free membership to the Hopewell – Prince George Chamber, and ongoing support from HDP and the City of Hopewell. Winners can also benefit from the generally low overhead costs in the area. Prize funds for the winners of the competition may be used for: working/operating capital, rent/real-estate, equipment, inventory, property improvements, wages for new employees as well as for marketing purposes.
HDP was one of seven recipients of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s 2022 “Community Business Launch Grant,” which aims to spur economic development and job creation through education and place-based strategies. The Partnership partnered with Virginia State University’s Minority Small Business Launch Center to offer a free “Business Boot Camp” to participants. Participants were also matched with mentors from the Small Business Development Center at Longwood, the Metropolitan Business League’s City Point Innovation Center or HDP’s Economic Vitality Committee. Since 2007, HDP has been quietly fostering a revitalization movement in the independent city’s Historic Downtown District in partnership with Hopewell local government, existing businesses, philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, property owners and the richly diverse community at-large.
HDP Executive Director Heather Lyne states that: “We expect to see the positive ripple effects of this Business Pitch Competition continue far beyond Pitch Night due to the educational component and the supportive peer network of entrepreneurs that emerged throughout this process. It’s a beautiful experience to be a part of someone’s business dream journey and HDP is always striving to connect the community to existing resources and experts — that’s the Main Streetway.” For basic information on ‘Homegrown for Hopewell’, navigate here. To learn more about the Hopewell Downtown Partnership and to stay informed about Downtown Hopewell, visit: hopewelldowntown.com. Or, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
About the Hopewell Downtown Partnership:
HDP’s mission is to build a healthy, vibrant, and more prosperous central downtown district for the Hopewell community. The Partnership believes that everyone deserves access to a vibrant neighborhood — a place that has a thriving local economy, is rich in character and features inviting public spaces which make residents and visitors feel that they belong.
About Virginia’s Gateway Region EDO:
VGR is the regional economic development organization that markets the independent localities within the Tri-Cities of Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights, in addition to the outer-region counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex as well as the incorporated towns within them. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation with the goal of funding the region for economic prosperity.