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The Gauntlet Community Business Launch
Martinsville,Virginia…A City Without Limits

The Gauntlet Community Business Launch

Uptown Partnership received funding from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the City of Martinsville to implement the Community Business Launch program. This program is an additional resource that supplements the Startup and Grow programs under the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Patrick & Henry Community College and the Longwood Small Business Development Center. Under this program, entrepreneurs interested in specifically opening a business in the Uptown business corridor were invited to take part in The Gauntlet, a regional program that was facilitated by The Advancement Foundation. Priority businesses for the Uptown CBL include those directly related to Uptown Partnership’s Transformational Strategies of: Uptown Living, Handmade/ Craft Made/Artisan, and Small Scale Manufacturing.

The program included a 10-week virtual class through which 35 local entrepreneurs, representing 23 potential businesses, along with over 100 regional participants, worked through the development of a comprehensive business plan. Completed business plan were then submitted to a panel of local judges who scored the business plans. Those whose scores made them eligible were then invited to participate in a Pitch Competition to a panel of regionally-based economic and community development professionals.  Following the Pitch Competition, competitors were ranked according to highest scores (business plan, pitch competition, relevance to local Transformation Strategies, and other subjective criteria).

Through the Gauntlet program $80,000.00 in cash grant awards and $48,555.00 in in-kind awards with a grand total of $128,555.00 went directly to support local entrepreneurs who will be opening or expanding businesses in the Uptown business district in 2022. This is in addition to the resources that were also provided to another group of entrepreneurs who recently completed the MHC Chamber of Commerce’s successful Startup and Grow programs through their partnership with Patrick & Henry Community College and Longwood Small Business Development Center.

Below is a full list of Gauntlet awardees and their cash grant/in-kind award amounts:
• Natalie Hodge, Rudy's Girl Media: $20,000 cash, $9,840 in-kind TOTAL  $29.840.00
• Herb Atwell and Peggy Donovan, Renewal Brewing: $12,000 cash, $2,525 in-kind TOTAL  $14,525.00
• Dr. Mary Beth Noonan, Children's First Pediatrics of VA PC: $12,000 cash, $1940 in-kind  TOTAL $13,940.00
• Josh Blancas, Backspace Coffee: $10,000 cash, $6,090 in-kind TOTAL $16,090
• Forrest Forschmeidt, Made in Martinsville: $8,000 cash, $$1,090 in-kind TOTAL $9,090.00
• Duncan Monroe, Customiz3design, LLC: $5,000 cash, $3,440 in-kind TOTAL $8,440.00
• DeShanta Hairston, Books & Crannies: $5,000 cash, $3,190 in-kind TOTAL $ 8,190.00
• Shane and Paula Wood: Wood Worx Wellness: $3,400 cash, $2,390 in-kind  $5,790.00
• Tanya Jones-Harrison, Dependable Home Healthcare: $ 2000 cash, $1,690 in-kind TOTAL 3,690.00
• Christi Hodges & Jason Grodensky, The Boutique Uptown and The Men's Room Uptown: $1,600 cash, $2090 in-kind TOTAL $3,690.00
• Venena Preston, Faithfully Yours:: $1,000 cash, $2090 in-kind TOTAL $3,090
• Sierra Barrow: The Barrow Center: $2,230 in-kind TOTAL $2,230.00
• Mercedes Moreno, Meche's Beauty: $1,990 in-kind TOTAL $1,090.00
• Shatera Robertson, Unique Styles and Designs: $1,990 in-kind  TOTAL $1,090.00
• Chantila Hairston, LTL Trichology Clinic, LLC: $1,990 in-kind  TOTAL $1,090.00
• Loronia Gravely, Caring Hands Transport: $1,990 in-kind  TOTAL $1,090.00
• Kirk Cotter, Slainte Ranch, LLC: $1,990 in-kind  TOTAL $1,090.00

About Uptown Partnership
We are an inclusive and diverse group of people who are committed to bringing residents and businesses to Uptown, using the nationally successful Main Street Approach. Our success is predicated on your participation.
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The details

All you need to know before joining us for this event.

What’s included?
Your ticket gives access to the hands-on workshops and intimate nightly discussions. Dinner and drinks will be included each night.
What’s included?
Your ticket gives access to the hands-on workshops and intimate nightly discussions. Dinner and drinks will be included each night.
FAQ
Your ticket gives access to the hands-on workshops and intimate nightly discussions. Dinner and drinks will be included each night.

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