Historic Downtown eNews  |  Archive


January 13, 2022

A partnership with Believe in Bristol, Virginia DHCD, City of Bristol, VA and Wells Fargo Foundation.

  • Do you have an idea that will help continue to grow Historic Downtown Bristol VA/TN?
  • Are you an entrepreneur and local community advocate?
  • Are you just getting started with your product or service idea and think that downtown is the right fit?
  • Are you already in business downtown but have plan to expand your business offering new services or growing your current location?

If so, you are eligible to participate in the Ben Collins Memorial Entrepreneur Grant (e-Grant) Program.

Thanks to Virginia DHCD Community Development Block Grant, Virginia DHCD Resurgence Grant, and a Community Development grant from Wells Fargo, Believe in Bristol will be awarding a total of $80,000 in grant funding to FIVE winning and innovative businesses for downtown Bristol!

Grant awards will be broken down as follows: 1st Place will receive $25,000, 2nd Place will receive $20,000, 3rd Place will receive $15,000, and 4th and 5th Place will each receive $10,000.

Applicants will apply online at BelieveInBristol.org/business or in person at the Believe in Bristol office located at 20 6th Street, Bristol, TN. Applications accepted January 10th – February 7th, 2022.

Applicants will be notified by Friday, February 11th, 2022 if they are selected to move forward with the interview process. Applicant interviews will be scheduled the week of February 14th – February 25th, 2022.

Special consideration will be given to SWaM (Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned)businesses and Small-Scale production businesses. Small-scale producers, or maker businesses, are defined as all types of small businesses producing tangible goods. This includes businesses producing goods in textile, hardware, wood, metal, 3D printing, and food. This also includes hardware prototyping, consumer product design and prototyping, breweries and distilleries, and local food production and packaging.

The top 15 businesses selected to move forward in the grant program will be notified by Monday, February 28th.

  • Week 1 – What is a Business Plan?– March 8, 2022
  • Week 2 – Business Structure:From a Tax and Legal Perspective– March 15, 2022
  • Week 3 – Discovering the Bottom Line & Cash Flow– March 22, 2022
  • Week 4 – Customer Service & Adaptability– April 5, 2022
  • Week 5 – Understanding Your Market– April 12, 2022
  • Week 6 – Planning for the Future (Raising capital, growth planning, goals)– April 19, 2022
  • Pitch Day – Thursday, May 5th, 2022 – 6:00-9:00 PM (Location TBD)

Class Format: Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00 PM at Bristol Public Library, unless notified otherwise. Refreshments will be provided.

  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM : Expert on Topic
  • 7:00 – 8:00 PM : Field Work Review / Co-Hort Networking

Please note that by participating in this grant process, no reasonable expectation of confidentiality can be expected.This is public grant funded monies and confidentiality can’t be guaranteed.

The grant money is contingent on;

  • Opening or expanding a business in the Historic Main Street District of Downtown Bristol
  • Participation and attendance in a 6-week training course, which includes 2-hour classes and outside field work.
  • Becoming one of the top (5) businesses selected by a panel of judges during the final pitch day event.
  • Opening or expanding your existing business by October 31, 2022.
  • This reimbursement grant may be used for property ownership, leased space, business licenses, professional training, utilities, computer equipment, restaurant equipment, and/or other business supplies.A formal request to Believe in Bristol along with documentation will be required for the reimbursement.

For questions please call the Believe in Bristol office at 423-573-2201.