Entrepreneurs Receive $90,000 to Help Build Businesses in Downtown Martinsville

Martinville – If you have a great business idea, now is your chance to get funded and become your own boss. Applications are open for the 8th Annual Gauntlet Business Program and Competition.

New this year is a matching grant program to help more entrepreneurs in Uptown Martinsville.

Uptown Partnership with matching funding from the City of Martinsville has been selected to receive $90,000 through the Governor’s Community Business Launch Grant. The grant was awarded through a highly competitive process across the state of Virginia. The Advancement Foundation said the $90,000 grant will leverage training and business development resources to enable new or existing businesses to accelerate their growth and success through The Gauntlet Business program and competition.

Now in its 8th year, The Gauntlet is Virginia’s largest business program and competition. The Gauntlet has served more than 650 entrepreneurs, developed a mentor network of 250 professionals, and awarded more than $7 million in resources including grants, cash, and in-kind prizes.

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Small businesses are the backbone of community vitality,” said Annette Patterson, president of the Advancement Foundation. “Together, community leaders, resource organizations and entrepreneurs across the region are joining forces to engage local assets that will support innovation and business development. We accelerate business success by shortening the learning curve for business owners, connecting entrepreneurs with skilled business strategists, and providing the resources to implement innovative strategies for growth. The Gauntlet is the platform through which we can quickly put all the pieces of the puzzle together while creating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. This program and this competition are more important than ever. »

Uptown Partnership, in conjunction with the City of Martinsville, aims to diversify its retail mix with a focus on small-scale high street manufacturing and businesses that fit into its high street transformation strategies main focus of “Handmade, Handcrafted, Handcrafted” and “Uptown Life”.

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The Martinsville Uptown Gauntlet Community Business Launch Program will attract shoppers looking for a product development “experience” and destination retailers, including local artisans; and promote a livable downtown through mixed-use real estate development. Upon completion of the 2022 CBL program, the Gauntlet Business program and competition in Martinsville will create or grow three businesses and create at least five jobs.

Uptown Partnership leaders said they are excited to add The Gauntlet Business program and competition to the existing Startup and Grow business launch and expansion programs offered to entrepreneurs in the Martinsville-Henry County area. thanks to the collaboration between the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce / C-PEG and Patrick and Henry Community College.

“Being able to provide an additional resource for entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in Uptown Martinsville’s business district is a win-win situation for our community and the entrepreneurs whose innovation and commitment make Uptown so special,” said Uptown Partnership Executive Director Kathy Deacon. “We look forward to working with The Advancement Foundation, the Martinsville-Henry County/C-PEG Chamber of Commerce and many other stakeholders to ensure the success of both programs.”

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The Gauntlet program and competition invites entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their business in the city of Martinsville’s Uptown business district to register for the highly targeted effort. Other regional partners participating in the Gauntlet include the Alleghany Highlands including Covington and Clifton Forge, Botetourt County, Troutville, Fincastle, Buchanan, Rockbridge County, Lexington, Glasgow, Buena Vista, City of Roanoke, County of Roanoke, Bedford County, City of Bedford, Big Island, Smith Mountain Lake, Forest, Floyd County, Roanoke County and The Town of Vinton and beyond. The GAUNTLET includes business training, mentoring, scaling strategies and more! Entrants can compete for $75,000 in cash prizes focused on the Uptown business district.

10 News is a proud sponsor again this year.

Virtual classes will take place every Tuesday from February 1, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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The Gauntlet app is now open and available online. To access the online application, FAQs and calendar, click here.

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