A big grant is bringing growth to the business district in one Southwest Virginia community. The $400,000 grant is from the department of housing and community development.
Construction and 'coming soon' signs fill the street in Glade Spring's town square. "We're real excited about what we're going to be doing and all that's going on in the Glade area," says new business owner David Ledgerwood.
Ledgerwood and his wife are opening a coffee shop in the town square; they tell us the growth in the area adds to their excitement. "There are already several established businesses and more businesses that are opening up, so it’s a great time to be moving in," says Ledgerwood.
Just a few feet down the street, Tracey Stanley is getting ready to open a new business too. "My mother and I are big dreamers so it didn't take a lot of arm twisting to get us to jump on board," adds Stanley.
Stanley says the grant has her feeling even more encouraged about starting her business. "It gives the impression that outsiders are seeing what's happening," says Stanley.
We learned all the growth in the town square is just the start of great things to come for the community. "[We're] improving our business climate, creating jobs and improving our economy so that we can then have the revenues to apply to improve the standard of living throughout our community,” says Glade Spring Planning Commission President Dirk Moore.
The grant will be used two ways: one part is a revolving loan fund for businesses, while "the other part of it is matching grants for businesses to use and their improvements to their business façade," adds Moore.
"It's pretty promising and an encouragement and keeps us hopeful about what we're doing," says Stanley.
Glade Spring leaders applied for the grant. Both businesses hope to open within the next few months.