Downtown Blackstone Business Assistance Opportunities
Welcome to the neighborhood! You have chosen to invest in one of the most vibrant and exciting downtowns in the region. Downtown Blackstone has much to offer, but much more is needed. We would like to help acquaint you with the downtown district, and assistance available to you.
Downtown Blackstone has a strong history as a commercial center. Dating back to the early 1800’s, Blackstone was the original development of the community then known as “Blacks & Whites”. Our downtown still has many examples of unique commercial architecture. Blackstone’s Downtown has been recognized as a designated Virginia Main Street Community by the Virginia Main Street Program. The Downtown District also lies within the town’s state-designated Historic District.
Begin with a walk-through appointment with us. Location assistance, business planning, marketing and advertising consulting, Grand Opening packages and more – all free of charge!
Please call (434) 292-3041.
- Electric, Water - Town of Blackstone 434-292-7251
- Building Inspector - Nottoway County
Al Ellington 434-645-8696
Lafayette Dickens, Program Manager
- Town of Blackstone
Philip Vannoorbeeck, Town Manager
- Nottoway County Economic Development Committee
- Blackstone Chamber of Commerce
- Longwood Small Business Development Center
Sheri R. McGuire
- Downtown Revitalization Business Loan Pool Grant
- Training Assistance
- Small Business Development Center at Longwood University
- VECTEC seminars provided by Christopher Newport University
- Downtown Revitalization Design Assistance
- Downtown Revitalization Façade Grant
- Loan Assistance from Local Banks
The Blackstone Chamber of Commerce offers no-cost advertising and marketing support for member businesses on their website and in promotional materials distributed to downtown visitors. The DBI provides exposure on its website and in promotional materials for all downtown merchants regardless of membership.
The Town of Blackstone and Downtown Blackstone Inc. will provide qualified downtown property or business owners with professional design assistance for façade improvements and signage design at no charge.
The Virginia and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit
The Virginia Rehabilitation Tax Credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in income tax liability for taxpayers who rehabilitate historic buildings. Credits are available from both the federal government and the State of Virginia.
The amount of the credit is based on total rehabilitation costs. The federal credit is 20% of eligible rehabilitation expenses. The state credit is 25% of eligible rehabilitation expenses. In some cases, taxpayers can qualify under both programs, allowing them to claim credits of 45% of their eligible rehabilitation expenses.
The credits described above are available only for Certified Historic Structures, which are defined as follows:
Under the federal program, a certified historic structure is one that is either:
- Individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or
- Certified as contributing to a district that is so listed
Under the state program, a certified historic structure is one that is:
- Individually listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register, or
- Certified as eligible for listing, or
- Certified as a contributing structure in a district that is so listed
- With a few exceptions, most Virginia properties that are listed on one of these registers are listed on both. Note, however, that National and Virginia Register historic districts may be different from locally designated historic districts. For additional information, visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources website at www.dhr.virginia.gov/tax_credits/tax_credit_faq.htm
Technical Preservation Services for Historic Buildings, National Park Service
- Includes 43 Preservation Briefs, Preservation Tech Notes, and other valuable information for property owners
National Trust for Historic Preservation/National Main Street Center
- The nation’s leader in the preservation movement
- The Help from the National Trust section of their website includes information regarding financial assistance, governmental and legal policies, and other useful topics
The Virginia Main Street Program
- Since 1985, Virginia Main Street has been helping localities revitalize the economic vitality of downtown commercial districts using the National Main Street Center’s successful Main Street Approach™. Main Street is a comprehensive, incremental approach to revitalization built around a community’s unique heritage and attributes. Using local resources and initiatives, Main Street helps communities develop their own strategies to stimulate long term economic growth and pride in the traditional community center -- downtown.
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources
- Business expansion loan guarantees are available through the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, a state entity which guarantees loans for inventory, fixed assets and working capital. VSBFA also has loans up to $15,000 for equipment of renovations of child day care centers. (804) 371-8254 or www.dba.virginia.gov/financing/. VSBFA also publishes Virginia Capital Resources Directory, an online guide to grants, microloans, short and long term debt financing, and venture capital at www.dba.virginia.gov/financing/crd/.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (804-771-2400 or www.sba.gov/va) provides loan guarantees of up to $750,000 for a variety of general business purposes, including inventory and working capital. Loans of up to $150,000 are available with a simple one page application. Long term, low rate financing for real estate and equipment is possible through the Certified Development Co. (504) program.
- The statewide Development Company is Virginia Asset Financing Corp. (703-476-0504) and there are five local companies as well. Loans of up to $250,000 are available through the Pre-qualification loan program to many businesses that do not have access to regular commercial credit. Contact your local Small Business Development Center to see if you are eligible. Loans of under $25,000 are available through SBA approved micro-loan lenders.
- Rural Development in USDA provides Rural Business-Cooperative Services such as business enterprise grants, intermediary re-lending loans, business and industry direct loans and guaranteed loans. For more information, contact Kent Ware, Program Director, at 804-287- 1557 or Kent.Ware@va.usda.gov.
- DHCD administers the Virginia Enterprise Initiative (VEI) to fund local organizations that then provide startup or expansion funding and technical assistance to microenterprises (less than five employees, including the owner). Contact Victoria Taugner (804) 371-7063 or www.dhcd.virginia.gov/CD/VEI.
- The Virginia Employment Commission publishes Virginia Business Resource Directory: A Guide to Services Available to Existing and Potential Businesses. Available for download from the VEC website, the Guide addresses business planning, financing, management and marketing www.vec.state.va.us/vecportal/lbrmkt/vbrd.cfm.
The Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center (VECTEC) is a non-profit university based organization located at Christopher Newport University. The purpose of VECTEC is to promote economic competitiveness and development by sponsoring and implementing electronic commerce activities and programs to include rural areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. VECTEC places special emphasis on delivering e-commerce technologies and services to Virginia’s small and medium size businesses.
|E-Commerce Solutions||Educational Seminars||Research Assistance|
|Web Design||E-Commerce||Market Research (CTDI)|
|Shopping Carts||Online Marketing||Business Analysis|
|Site Evaluations||Internet Security||Online Resource Center|
|Database Development||Nonprofit Marketing||In-Depth Site Analysis|
|Content Management Systems||Search Engine Marketing||IT Strategic Planning|
|Search Engine Optimization||Website Usability||Online Ranking Assistance|
|Grant Programs||Software Tutorials|
Interested business owners should contact www.vectec.org or call 757-594-7092 for further information.