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ANNUAL
REPORT

2023 has been
       one for the books!

A note from the director...

We are thrilled to present the Believe in Bristol 2023 Annual Report, highlighting an extraordinary year of downtown revitalization in Bristol TN/VA. Our dedicated community witnessed unprecedented growth - from an expanded staff to an increased number of vibrant events and flourishing businesses. As we celebrate these achievements, we eagerly anticipate the continued growth that lies ahead in 2024.

 

Downtown Bristol is truly our postcard location, and we thank you for your unwavering support in assisting us in making downtown a thriving economic hub with vibrant community spirit!

See You Downtown,

Maggie 

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Mission

NEW!

Believe in Bristol’s mission is to unify and strengthen Downtown Bristol by promoting its history, facilitating future growth, and building a vibrant community of arts and culture, heritage, music, and economic strength.

Vision

NEW!

Our vision for Downtown Bristol is a vibrant and collaborative community of Tennesseans and Virginians, celebrating our shared heritage, enjoying a vigorous economy, and providing abundant opportunities for living, working, shopping, and playing.

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Believe in Bristol is an accredited program of the Tennessee Main Street program, Virginia Main Street and the National Main Street Center™. As a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization, Believe in Bristol is composed of dedicated citizens, business owners, government officials and other friends of Bristol who recognize the role a vital downtown plays in preserving and furthering our community's identity, spirit and economy.

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Since 2006, Believe in Bristol has been a catalyst for positive growth in Downtown Bristol. Through marketing initiatives, public space improvements, business engagement programs, cultural events, and more, we are creating a strong and vibrant downtown district.

Our staff grew from two to three in 2023!

Best.
Board.
Ever.

President: Jessica Barnett
Vice President: Teresa Tibol
Secretary: Hollie Moody
Treasurer: Marjorie Griffith
Past President: Van Guthrie

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Tom Anderson
Rob Blanton
Michael Chafin
Sam Crowe
Debi Denney
Jay Detrick
Randall Eads
Anthony Farnum
Margaret Feierabend
Wilma Gill
​Bradley Hartsell
Sarah Hutchinson
Terry Napier
Kathryn Perrin
Andrew Snyder
Rene Rodgers
Brittany Rutherford

PROJECTS

We’ve been busy

this year…

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We’re growing                   
our audience!

We continue to utilize our social media presence as an essential way of getting information to the community. Throughout 2023, we saw a jump in followers, engagement, and video content views on our various platforms. With our social media following, website traffic, and newsletter engagement, there is an opportunity to quickly and effectively promote all things Downtown - including events, new businesses, public art installations, shopping promotions, restaurants, and more.

13,131

FOLLOWERS

68% increase in reach!

3,705

FOLLOWERS

134% increase in reach!

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We're not slowing down
                                        in 2024...

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Public Art Initiatives

Believe in Bristol has created a comprehensive work plan to support public art and improve our community and downtown district with murals, public art, and creative placemaking. This utilization of public art and placemaking serves as a means to foster community pride and elevate the visual appeal of our district.

 

BiB has applied for grants to fund these projects and has already secured a $75,000 Downtown Investment Grant from Virginia Main Street. These projects highlight effective public-private partnerships. Stay tuned for new instagrammable spots in our beautiful downtown!

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Business & Brews

In 2024, we will be reestablishing our Business & Brews networking event on a regular basis, as well as expanding upon our new Downtown Bristol TN/VA Merchants Group on Facebook. We hope to foster more communication and collaboration between our downtown businesses and local stakeholders and we believe we are well on our way to doing so!

Parking Initiatives

In collaboration with the Cities of Bristol, Tennessee, and Virginia, the Believe in Bristol (BiB) Design Committee is working on fundamental parking initiatives to improve the downtown experience for residents and visitors. The focus lies on identifying potential parking solutions, incorporating clear signage for efficient navigation, and exploring private partnerships. By addressing these essential aspects, the committee aims to streamline parking processes, reduce congestion, and enhance overall accessibility. Through a combination of strategic planning and collaborative efforts with private entities, Believe in Bristol endeavors to create a more organized and user-friendly parking system, contributing to the community's vitality and economic development.

Facade Improvement

Believe in Bristol (BIB) is planning to execute a competitive matching grant program aimed at supporting businesses and property owners in the downtown district. This program, thanks to grants secured by BiB from Tennessee and Virginia Main Street, aims to enhance building facades, signage, and overall surroundings. The objective is to promote well-executed façade improvements that enhance the downtown commercial district's appeal to customers, employees, and businesses, thereby fostering vitality and economic growth. The anticipated outcome is a more attractive corridor that contributes to neighborhood revitalization and stability.

 

Announcements and scheduling coming soon; you can expect the application process to open at the first of 2024. Proposals must pass a threshold review for eligibility, and will then be reviewed for quality and impact of the proposed improvements. 

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7th Annual
Entrepreneur 
Grant Program

A partnership with Believe in Bristol, SyncSpace, Virginia DHCD, Virginia Tourism Corporation, City of Bristol, VA, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, and Wells Fargo Foundation, we are excited to announce our preparations for the 7th Annual Ben Collins Memorial Entrepreneur Grant coming early 2024! 

We anticipate welcoming 20 new and/or expanding businesses into the new co-hort and awarding up to $50,000 in grant awards. Applications will be accepted January 2024.

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2024 EVENTS

Save the Date! 2024 Events (Website) (1)

FY 2023 Income & Expenses

2023 Income
2023 Expense

2022 Business/Individual Giving: $26,575

2023 Business/Individual Giving: $30,988

16% increase in giving!

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Downtown Bristol
by the numbers...

Public Investment: $19,394,946

Private Investment: $52,262,170

Total Investment: $71,657,116

Total Residential Units:

91


1191

Total Full Time Employees Downtown

Total Downtown Businesses:

172

Dine & Drink: 31
Retail: 34
Entertainment: 15
Services: 92

Jobs Created Since 2012: 532

All statistics referenced from 2006 - 2022 Believe in Bristol Main Street Accreditation Data

Believe in Bristol would like to say a special thank you to

Our Corporate Sponsors

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Our Individual Supporters

Anne & Ben Cowan

Robin & Margaret Feierabend

John & Brenda Fincher

Audrey Zaidi

Dan & Nell Bieger

Thelma Blair

Eric & Christina Blevins

Bristol Bagel & Bakery

Delta Blues BBQ

LeAnn Edwards

Frizzell Foundation     

Wilma & Gene Gill

Shannon & Julie Glover

Jeff & Terri Gregory

Marjorie & Roy Griffith

Van & Sarah Guthrie

Ed & Tina Hitt

Tracy & Richard King

Ruth King

Wyatt Lilly

Machiavelli’s

Jeffrey & Jennifer McQueary

Natural Health Solutions Center

Rene Rodgers

Mitch Skaggs

Tom & Barbara Smith

Southern Craft

Stateline Bar & Grille

Katy & Pete Stigers

Brad Stophel

A. F.  VanNostrand, Sr.

Vivian’s Table

Jerry Allen Wolfe

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