Five businesses in Richmond’s East End have been awarded grants totaling $107,000, through a program that seeks to spark entrepreneurship and job creation in the area.

The program provides grants to business owners who plan to open or expand businesses along the 25th Street and Nine Mile Road corridor in Richmond. Bon Secours, in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is designed to foster and engage the community around job and business creation. The project, SEED, is an annual business plan awards program that was created in 2011. Since then, grants totaling $420,000 have been awarded to 30 businesses in Richmond’s East End.
The SEED program is an important initiative for Bon Secours,” said Toni R. Ardabell, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “As a faith-based, mission-driven health care organization, our goal is to improve the overall health of our communities through health promotion, job creation, food access, education, and affordable housing.”
[caption id="attachment_3228" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital[/caption] Bon Secours contributed $97,000 to this year’s grants, while bank and credit card giant Capital One Financial Corp., which started contributing to the program three years ago, added $10,000.
The 2017 recipients of the grants are:
  • Felecia Manns of Happiness Dance Studios; $12,000 for a dance floor, mirrors, signage, and an awning.
  • Jaida Cureton of Jade Salon; $25,000 for business training, salon lighting, product line trademark registration, a merchant services hardware upgrade, and commercial grade flooring for the salon.
  • Darlene Birchett of The Yard Guy, a landscaping and lawn clearing service; $25,000 for a dump truck and lawn equipment.
  • Lawson Wijesooriya of The Neighborhood Scoop, an ice cream shop; $25,000 for ice cream equipment.
  • Michelle Parrish of Soul N’ Vinegar, which sells homemade and prepared foods; $20,000 for equipment and an outdoor patio.
East End entrepreneurs and business startups can now apply for SEED funding. Applicants must be entrepreneurs or startup companies, and their businesses must be located in the 23223 zip code within the city of Richmond. The preferred location for selected business is along the 25th Street and Nine Mile Road Corridor. Applications are evaluated and judged by SEED’s Blue Ribbon Panel, comprised of representatives from Bon Secours, LISC, Virginia Community Capital, East End business owners, and others.
Congratulations to each of the grant recipients!

Toys 'R' Us has filed for bankruptcy.