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Bon Secours Awards New Round of $50,000 in SEED Grants

Health System also extends commitment to SEED through 2015

Nov. 12, 2013 — Bon Secours Richmond Health System today announced it awarded nine East End businesses, including six new startups and three past SEED (Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development) participants, with $50,000 in SEED funding. Bon Secours also announced it will further its commitment to East End business revitalization, extending its annual SEED awards program through 2015, increasing the annual grants in 2014 and 2015 to $75,000. This enables Bon Secours to continue their efforts in revitalizing the 25th Street and Nine Mile Road corridor as a healthy community to live, work and play.

Since the SEED program was established in 2011, Bon Secours has helped 14 businesses establish their services in this community, with funding totaling $150,000 to date.

“In just three years, we are seeing the positive impact these businesses are making in the overall improvement in, and livability of, the East End,” said Michael Robinson, CEO, Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital and Memorial Regional Medical Center. “These businesses are thriving here, and because of them, the economic vitality of the East End is strengthened. Bon Secours is pleased to extend our SEED funding through 2015, and we can’t wait to help even more successful businesses open their doors here.”

Created by Bon Secours Richmond Health System in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), SEED is designed to foster and engage the community around job and business creation, recognizing the important connection that business development has for the overall health and well-being of our community. The grants are awarded to a new generation of entrepreneurs dedicated to rebuilding the neighborhood. All recipients must have businesses located in the 23223 zip code within the city of Richmond.

The six first-time winners include a building restoration contractor, a grocery and delicatessen owner, a women’s fashion retailer, a bicycle repair shop owner, a wedding event planner, and a restaurateur. They join three businesses that received SEED awards in prior years.

“Each year, we receive increased interest in the SEED program, due in part to increased program awareness and the proven success of businesses that have opened on Church Hill and along 25th Street and the Nine Mile Road corridor,” said Candice Streett, executive director of LISC. “It’s wonderful to see this increased interest each year, which signifies that Richmond’s East End community is improving as a place for entrepreneurs to live and work. I look forward to seeing the impact that this year’s recipients will have on this community.”

LISC will provide the SEED award recipients with business planning and coaching assistance to help launch their ideas, along with business mentoring and additional support.

“Bon Secours has long served the needs of Richmond’s East End, through community health programs and neighborhood revitalization, making this community a better place to live and work,” said Sister Anne Marie Mack, C.B.S., senior vice president for sponsorship, Bon Secours Richmond Health System and chair of the SEED III Blue Ribbon Panel. “Our partnership with LISC is proving most successful, as our SEED grant recipients are greatly enhancing the economic vitality of Richmond’s East End.”

In addition to Sister Anne Marie Mack and Candice Streett, the SEED III Blue Ribbon Panel members include David Belde, Ph.D., senior vice president, Mission Services, Bon Secours Richmond Health System; Dr. Leonard Edloe, retired pharmacist, Church Hill; Dougal Hewitt, chief mission officer, Presence Health; Lisa Hicks-Thomas, secretary of administration, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia; Matt Illian, Church Hill resident; Drew Jackson, Church Hill resident; Paul Nolde, corporate project manager, Virginia Community Capital; John Bolton, loan officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; and Dr. Brent Smith, associate professor, VCU School of Business.

More information on Bon Secours’ community health initiatives in Richmond’s East End, including the SEED program, can be found at www.eastendvision.org.

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