December 22, 2016
Martinsville, VA (December 22, 2016) – Four local small businesses were recently awarded assistance through the annual Small Business Investment Forum (SBIF) Business Plan Competition.
Created in 2008, the annual SBIF Business Plan Competition gave local entrepreneurs a chance to compete for funding, free space, in-kind services and mentoring. The competition was open to for-profit start-up small businesses or businesses that are less than three years old and are located in the City of Martinsville or Henry County, Virginia.
This year’s winners are Jr.’s Music Store & More, Books and Crannies, Butcher’s and Brew and Infinity Dancewear (Pictures of winning business owners are attached). They will receive a share of over $10,000 in grants and services as well as mentoring from the funding partners for one year.
Jr.’s Music Store & More will be locating at 2163 Virginia Ave, Collinsville, in the former Woodall’s Music building. They will carry a variety of instruments and accessories including guitars, drum sets, keyboards, amplifiers, microphones and more. Offsite maintenance and troubleshooting services for sound equipment can also be arranged. They will also continue the instrument rental program used by many school bands. Their award will go towards the purchase of inventory, advertising, marketing assistance, a class at Patrick Henry Community College and SmartSTART business training classes.
Butchers and Brew opened their restaurant in August 2016 at 54 W. Church Street in Uptown Martinsville. The restaurant’s menu offers hand-cut meats, southern style vegetables, fresh salads and an assortment of familiar favorites. The spacious separated bar area will occasionally host comedy shows, karaoke, live music and other entertainment. Their award will be allocated towards the purchase of kitchen equipment, additional televisions and electrical updates.
Opened in September 2016, Books and Crannies offers its customers the intimacy of shopping in person versus online or out of town. The store houses a carefully chosen collection of new and gently used books and greeting cards. Book genres range from children’s or mystery books to romance or nonfiction. With the award, comics and magazines will also be available soon. The award also includes a booth at the annual Fast Track Trade Show in March and a class at Patrick Henry Community College. Books and Crannies is located in the Henry Hotel (50 E. Church Street in Uptown Martinsville).
The final 2016 competition winner was Infinity Dancewear. As a second time entrant, Infinity Dancewear will join the other winners in receiving mentoring throughout the year from the SBIF committee. Owner Stacey Davis stated “Small business owners are faced with a lot of tough decisions. Having access to a group of professionals with my best interest at heart makes running my business a little less stressful.”
DeShanta Hairston, owner of Books and Crannies, stated that she was “honored to have received this award from SBIF. I look forward to using the funds to enlarge my market and making Books and Crannies a local one-stop shop for all literary needs.”
Jr.’s Music Store owner Lloyd France, Jr. said “My plan is to use this award to not only leverage the business, but to help keep the musical passion and presence going strong in our area. I don’t plan to miss a beat, literally and figuratively, in serving our community.” France worked at Woodall’s Music for over 10 years before it closed and decided to open his store at the same location in December.
Butchers and Brew co-owners Joshua Snider and Billy Brewer are not completely new to their business industry either. Brewer owned Tasty Crème café for 10 years before deciding on this new venture. Snider said “We’re excited about the award. The new equipment is going to increase our efficiency in the kitchen and help us serve diners quicker. We believe the additional TVs will be popular with our customers and will help increase sales.”
The SBIF consists of a partnership of public and private organizations with a common goal of encouraging small business development and job creation for our area. Since 2008, the SBIF competition has awarded over $88,000 in funding and services. Contributing members of this year’s SBIF include City of Martinsville, Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, HD Web Studio and Patrick Henry Community College and West Piedmont Business Development Center. Retired banker Carolyn Shough chairs the committee and also contributes her expertise to the forum.
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