Applications are now available online for the Community Business Launch, a Shark Tank-like entrepreneurial opportunity that will reward recipients with start-up capital and business support to launch along Main Street in Gloucester Village.
Calling all entrepreneurs. Get ready to launch Gloucester.
Gloucester Main Street business groups – the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association – are pleased to announce that online applications for the Gloucester Community Business Launch program, the Shark Tank-like business funding and launch contest, are now available for prospective and interested entrepreneurs and business owners.
Prize packages include start up capital, marketing and communication support, business consultation, rent abatement, a ribbon cutting ceremony, video promotion and memberships to the Main Street Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
The entire program is valued at nearly $200,000.
Applications are available at www.launchgloucester.com and are due Feb. 20.
Required business planning classes for applicants accepted into the program start March 5.
The program is made possible thanks to a grant awarded to Gloucester as part of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s first ever Virginia Community Business Launch. Gloucester Village’s Main Street was named one of three communities in the Commonwealth to receive $100,000 for small business development. The additional funding / value of the program came from regional business support, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, the Gloucester Economic Development Authority and the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust.
What exactly is the Community Business Launch program?
It’s an entrepreneur contest that will be held on Gloucester’s Main Street that includes an eight-week business training course that kicks off in March and will run through May.
Applicants “could be a start-up business, could be a second location, could be a business that’s poised and ready for expansion,” said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Main Street Preservation Trust told the Gloucester Board of Supervisors earlier this year when presenting the plan to them. “This is going to create jobs and increase private investment. It’s going to enhance and compliment the current business mix.”
Among the types of businesses expected to be most successful along Gloucester’s Main Street include highly specialized retail concepts (specialty food stores, apparel stores, jewelry, sporting goods, gift shops, furniture and home décor, pet and art) and service businesses (health and beauty concepts and computer repair and services).
Successful applicants in the program will start businesses that integrate at least one new full time job and one part time job into the business. If expanding a business, applicants must introduce a new product line or service that is not already utilized in the current business, in addition to creating one full time and one part time job with the business plan.
A list of eligibility requirements are listed thoroughly on the Launch Gloucester website at http://launchgloucester.com/about/.
Contact Jenny Crittenden at (804) 824-9614 or Ashley Gilmartin at (804) 695-0700 with any questions.
For more information about the Virginia Community Business Launch, visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov. To learn more about the Gloucester Main Street Association, visit www.gloucestervillage.com or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.
Visit http://launchgloucester.com for more information specifically about Launch Gloucester and its Community Business Launch contest.