Danville Invites ‘Partnership and Collaboration’ Via Small Business Grants | New
Danville’s small business owners now have another opportunity to deepen their relationships with each other and with the community, thanks to funding from the city.
The city of Danville on October 7 opened general business promotion and marketing requests for grants of up to $ 1,500 for qualified physical businesses. Applications will remain open until all available funds are allocated, according to city economics specialist Lianna Adauto.
“We really want to be clear that this is a collaborative effort,” Adauto said. “The Business Promotion Fund aims to support efforts and events that will involve and benefit multiple businesses. “
This year, the city is looking to use its business promotion funds to support and encourage local businesses to work together on creative events, marketing efforts, and experiences that can deepen connections and strengthen community engagement, as businesses and in-person events are starting to pick up. operations following the lockdowns of the previous year.
“These are small business owners who don’t, especially right now with the labor shortage, they don’t have a lot of free time,” Adauto said. “The goal and purpose of this is to have a collaborative effort that will highlight and truly involve multiple companies in a project, program or event. “
The city’s business promotion funds have traditionally been aimed at encouraging collaborative efforts and community building between businesses. Similar examples that these grants aim to promote include the Danville Craftsmen’s Fair, a ‘Where’s Charlie’ scavenger hunt involving various businesses and featured by the Rickshaw Books, as well as art walks and of wine and sidewalk sales.
In the age of the pandemic, Adauto said she hopes to see all the traditional features of successful past projects, but is also interested in how the wisdom and resilience of business owners has been forced into it. to grow to stay afloat translate into successful applications.
“Because they have been so resilient and adaptable, we want these programs to maintain that level of adaptability by engaging businesses and communities in new ways,” Adauto said.
Some examples include the leverage of social media and online platforms, as well as the emerging trend of hybrid events. Adauto notably suggested that online advertising could help local businesses target additional audiences and expand their customer base. She also highlighted an important lesson business owners learned during the pandemic: Customers no longer necessarily need to visit a store in person.
In addition to seeking business partnerships and features like creativity and community engagement, successful applicants must come up with projects that conform to the city’s “Live Locally” logo, Adauto said.
However, she stressed that this mantra should be interpreted in a broad sense.
“We recognize that we are part of a larger region,” Adauto said. “We also know that it is possible to show people around. We certainly want to involve the local residential community, but we know that, guess what, some business owners don’t live here.
As an example of sharing ideas between communities, Adauto highlighted the “scarecrow ride” currently underway in Danville. The event invites local businesses to create unique scarecrow displays, which encourages shoppers to explore various businesses in the city in order to see the show. This year marks the second annual event in Danville, which Adauto says was inspired by the annual scarecrow competition in Benicia.
Above all, Adauto said, the most important thing for applicants to know is that successful projects must involve multiple companies in Danville. While she expects some applicants to return, she said it was especially important to stress this for new applicants, who might not understand the purpose of the city’s business promotion funds.
“This business promotion grant, even if it’s not a big pot, we really want to encourage businesses to work together, to collaborate, to associate … to really seek and be able to support and promote each other. in some of these unique opportunities. “
Applications have been open since Oct. 7 to brick-and-mortar business owners with a valid license in the city, and are not open to home-based businesses.
Successful applicants can receive up to $ 1,500 for approved projects, with up to $ 15,000 available from the city for all recipients. Grants are repayable, meaning they will be provided retroactively to successful applicants who are able to follow through on successful projects.
More information about the program, including eligibility requirements, can be found here.