Supporting East End Entrepreneur Development (SEED) Program
The SEED Program was created through a partnership between Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Bon Secours Richmond Health System to help revitalize the 25th Street corridor in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond. The program, which launched in 2011, provides up to $25,000 in grant money to individuals looking to either expand or start a business. By focusing on bringing businesses to the Church Hill area, the SEED Program not only helps business owners launch a new business, but it also brings commerce to Church Hill and creates more job opportunities for residents. Pictured right, two-time SEED winner Jaida Cureton outside her storefront, Jade Multicultural Salon.
SEED Round 7 has been completed! Together with Bon Secours and Capital One, we awarded $110,000 in funding to 7 small business owners in Church Hill. Join us in congratulating these incredible folks who are working hard to run and operation businesses that serve their community. To see a list of the recipients and learn more about their businesses, click here. If you have any questions about the SEED Program, please contact Schirra Hayes at email@example.com.
6 BIZ – Six Points Business Improvement Grants
Virginia LISC is excited to be in its second year of our improvement initiative for the Six Points Commercial area in Highland Park. LISC and Storefront for Community Design partnered with designers from Timmons Group and Baskervill to help businesses and residents envision real improvements to Six Points. The enhancement plan proposed a cohesive identity for the district and made recommendations for façade and street improvements including landscaping, street furniture, and signage. LISC is working on implementing a few early action projects recommended in the plan.
To implement some of the façade improvements envisioned in the enhancement plan, LISC has partnered with Capital One and launched a small business grant program for existing businesses in the area. Businesses applied for $5,000 – $10,000 grants to help supplement funds from the City’s Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) program. The second round of 6 BIZ is now underway! For more information on the 6 BIZ Program, contact Shekinah Mitchell from LISC @ 804-505- 4697 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs)
Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are LISC’s primary vehicle used to help families achieve economic stability. Based on the Center for Working Families model created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Financial Opportunity Centers focus on improving the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income families. Financial Opportunity Centers provide services across three areas: employment placement and career improvement; financial education and coaching; and public benefits access.
Virginia LISC brought the first Financial Opportunity Center to Virginia in 2012 and now includes three fully operating FOCs in Richmond and Petersburg.
Richmond’s first Financial Opportunity Center is housed in Greater Fulton’s Neighborhood Resource Center and is called NRC Works. In its first year of operation, NRC Works served 212 people with bundled services.
Virginia LISC launched a second Financial Opportunity Center in Richmond’s Northside in early 2016. It is located at the Partnership for Families building (800 West Graham Road) and is run by HumanKind’s Ways to Work program.
Virginia LISC opened a third Financial Opportunity Center in Petersburg, which launched in 2016 as well. The Petersburg Financial Opportunity Center is located at Pathways (1200 W Washington St, Petersburg).
In 2018, LISC secured funding to launch a fourth FOC on Richmond’s Southside. We are in deliberation with possible partners to host the fourth FOC. The Southside location will be the first to have bilingual coaches, allowing for services to be provided to Richmond’s growing Latino population.
Links to learn more:
Poplar Lawn in Petersburg
In Petersburg, Virginia LISC is involved with the targeted initiative of Poplar Lawn. The Poplar Lawn initiative is a project that Virginia LISC, the Cameron Foundation and the city are partnering on to revitalize housing in the historic neighborhood of Poplar Lawn.