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Downtown Bristol TN/VA E-Grant

Ben Collins Memorial Entrepreneur 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.

  • Do you have an idea that will help continue to grow Historic Downtown Bristol VA/TN?

  • Are you an entrepreneur and local community advocate?

  • Are you just getting started with your product or service idea and think that downtown is the right fit?

  • Are you already in business downtown but have plan to expand your business offering new services or growing your current location?

If so, you are eligible to participate in the Ben Collins Memorial Entrepreneur Grant Program.
Thanks to Virginia DHCD Resurgence Grant, VTC Microbusiness Leverage Grant, and a Community Development grant from Wells Fargo, Believe in Bristol will be awarding a total of $50,000 in grant funding to winning and innovative businesses for downtown Bristol!  


Program Timeline

January 8 - February 13

February 16

February 26 - March 1

March 1

March 12 - April 23

May 7

Applicants will apply online or in person at the Believe in Bristol office located at 20 6th Street, Bristol, TN.  Applications will be accepted January 8th – February 13, 2024.
Applicants will be notified by Friday, February 16, 2024 if they are selected to move forward with the interview process. 

Applicant interviews will be scheduled the week of February 26th – March 1st, 2024.  

The top 15 businesses selected to move forward in the grant program will be notified by Friday, March 1st.


Week 1 – What is a Business Plan? – March 12, 2024


Week 2 – Business Structure:  From a Tax and Legal Perspective – March 19, 2024


Week 3 – Discovering the Bottom Line & Cash Flow – March 26, 2024


Week 4 – Understanding Your Market – April 9, 2024


Week 5 – Customer Service, Advertising & Adaptability – April 16, 2024


Week 6 – Planning for the Future (Raising capital, growth planning, goals) – April 23, 2024


Pitch Day – Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 – 6:00-9:00 PM (Location TBD)

Special consideration will be given to SWaM (Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned) businesses and Small-Scale production businesses. Small-scale producers, or maker businesses, are defined as all types of small businesses producing tangible goods. This includes businesses producing goods in textile, hardware, wood, metal, 3D printing, and food. This also includes hardware prototyping, consumer product design and prototyping, breweries and distilleries, and local food production and packaging.

Program Requirements

Grant money is contingent upon:

  • Opening or expanding a business in the Historic Main Street District of Downtown Bristol

  • Participation and attendance in a 6-week training course, which includes 2-hour classes and outside field work.

  • Becoming one of the top (4) businesses selected by a panel of judges during the final pitch day event.

  • Opening or expanding your existing business by May 31, 2025.

  • This reimbursement grant may be used for property ownership, leased space, business licenses, professional training, utilities, computer equipment, restaurant equipment, and/or other business supplies.  A formal request to Believe in Bristol along with documentation will be required for the reimbursement.  

Contact us with any questions!

Get Inspired

Special Thanks to Our E-Grant Partners:

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