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News release from the River District Association
The River District Association (RDA) is excited to announce that the organization has been awarded two competitive grants totaling $240,000 from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to further assist with their mission to strengthen the regional economy, allowing all to experience Danville’s high quality of life. These grants have been awarded from a pool of $4.4 Million designated to 33 investment projects across the Commonwealth.
A $90,000 Community Business Launch (CBL) grant will go towards expanding RDA's innovative Dream Launch Bootcamp and Pitch Competition. In its three years of operation, the Dream Launch program has trained over 200 entrepreneurs and awarded startup or expansion funds to 12 businesses in the district. This is the second time RDA has won funding through this grant program. Registration to take part in year four of Dream Launch Boot Camp will open the beginning of November 2021.
The DHCD Community Resurgence grant award of $150,000 will go towards North Main Street Business District Revitalization. River District Association, in partnership with the Danville Regional Foundation and the City of Danville Office of Economic Development, will be able to provide services to an expanded footprint including but not limited to business assistance, marketing, façade improvement programs, and place making rooted in economic inclusion that prioritizes the neighborhood’s resident’s ideas and values in economic development decisions. This expansion of services will lay the groundwork for infrastructure improvement, and will increase access to capital, loans, grants, and training for businesses interested in opening in the North Main Street Business District.
“We are grateful to our many partners that make programs such as Dream Launch and Commercial District Revitalization possible; without the support of Virginia DHCD, we would not have been able to start the Dream Launch program in 2018. The program has been instrumental to provide knowledge, connections, and resources to entrepreneurs throughout the region, not just in the River District” says Diana Schwartz, Executive Director of the River District Association, “we did not know we would ever be in a ‘Year Four’ of the program when we began, and certainly it is only through collaboration with our many partners that the program continues to be a success.”
To find out more about the River District Association, or if you have any questions, please visit www.riverdistrictassociation.com.
The River District Association was organized in 1999 as the Downtown Danville Association. In May 2015, the organization was renamed the River District Association to complement the City’s River District brand and is an Accredited by both the Virginia Main Street Organization and the National Main Street (Main Street America).