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Bon Secours Commits Another $50,000 to East End Entrepreneurs

SEED funding, now totaling $150,000, builds on program’s 2011 and 2012 success

RICHMOND, VA (May 28, 2013) — Bon Secours Richmond Health System today furthered its commitment to building healthy communities by announcing the third phase of its Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program. SEED will provide another round of $50,000 in renewable funding, bringing its total commitment to $150,000 in three years from the Bon Secours Richmond Health System towards revitalization efforts in Richmond’s East End. Created in 2011 by Bon Secours in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), SEED is designed to foster and engage the community around job and business creation, through an annual business plan awards program.

“Bon Secours is proud to commit another year of SEED funding. The East End and Church Hill have seen what the strength of this community can do to grow new and successful businesses,” said Michael Robinson, CEO, Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. “The SEED program is an extension of our commitment to building healthy communities, which includes improving the economic and social vitality of the East End. We look forward to assisting more entrepreneurs in 2013.”

East End entrepreneurs and business start-ups can now apply for SEED funding. Applicants must be entrepreneurs or start-up companies, and their businesses must be located in the 23223 zip code within the city of Richmond, preferably 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. Applications can be found online at www.eastendvision.org. The deadline is Aug. 29, 2013. SEED’s annual awards program has received more than 40 applications in two years. Of these, SEED has awarded grants to eight East End entrepreneurs; these businesses have included three bakeries, a restaurant, a painting company, a consignment retailer, a hair care company and a hauling and disposal service. Three of these entrepreneurs have applied for and received SEED funding in both 2011 and 2012.

All recipients have used the SEED funding to help them start and grow their businesses. As part of the award, recipients also receive planning and coaching assistance through LISC.

“It’s been extremely rewarding to watch these entrepreneurs flourish in an area that for many years has been void of business activity,” said Candice Streett, executive director, LISC. “Now, the 25th Street corridor is alive with bakeries, restaurants, retailers and other service providers. Not only are East End residents using these businesses, but people from other parts of town are coming here for these goods and services. These entrepreneurs are paving the way for increased business and economic vitality in Richmond’s East End.”

LISC also will assist in application preparation for prospective awardees. An information session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on Wed., June 26, and from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on Sat., June 29, at the East District Initiative Building, 701 N. 25th St., in the East End.

“I thank God, Bon Secours and LISC for the wonderful opportunity to advance my company's potential and revenue over the past two years,” said Jodi Burton, owner of J. Burton Hauling and Disposal and a SEED recipient in 2011 and 2012. “I have purchased equipment, been able to market and have hired two employees. Most recently, I purchased a hydraulic dump truck and a snow plow. This has been a family business and a childhood dream, and this grant has helped it come true.” Bon Secours has been a key stakeholder of East End Vision (www.eastendvision.org), a plan designed to make the city’s Nine Mile Road corridor, Church Hill and 25th Street more desirable for residents, businesses and the community as a whole. Through SEED and since 2011, Bon Secours has dedicated $150,000 towards revitalization efforts in Richmond’s East End, working to restore and economically revitalize one of Richmond’s most historic neighborhoods. Complete information on the SEED program, including applications and other award criteria, can be found at eastendvision.org.

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