Launch LYH Program awards $115,000
LYNCHBURG, Virginia – Applications are now open for Launch LYH – Downtown Lynchburg Association’s
newest small business support program. Launch LYH will provide aspiring entrepreneurs and existing
business owners gap funding to help them start up or expand in a Downtown Lynchburg storefront.
Through the program, new amenities and attractions will be added to the downtown area, creating a
more exciting and vibrant downtown for the whole community.
Selected Launch LYH applicants will participate in an eight-week education program conducted by the
Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region, that culminates in a pitch competition.
Winning pitches will receive cash grants to help with new venture costs, including rent, build-out,
inventory, or other start-up needs. Total grant funds available: $115,000 and are disbursed to recipients
as reimbursements for expenses incurred. Special consideration will be given to women-owned and
minority-owned businesses. Prize packages will also include business resources from partner
organizations (see program website for full list).
“Lynchburg is full of smart, creative entrepreneurs with great ideas just waiting to be developed. With
Launch LYH, our goal is to give them the extra boost they need to bring those ideas to life in Downtown
Lynchburg,” said Ashley Kershner, Downtown Lynchburg Association Executive Director.
In order to be eligible to apply for the program, applicants must be ready and willing to open or expand
their business in a Downtown storefront by December 31, 2023. Applicants must also fall within one of
the following business categories: entertainment/culture/attraction, restaurant/beverage, retail, or
Applications are being accepted through the Downtown Lynchburg Association website through
Thursday, Feb 9. Launch LYH has limited space for participation. Not all applicants will be accepted.
This program was made possible through grants awarded by the Virginia Department of Community and
Housing Development and the Truist Foundation, and by our sponsors Bank of the James, Freedom First
Credit Union, and the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism. Additional support is
provided by our program partners, Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region, Lynchburg
Regional Business Alliance, Jamerson Lewis Construction, Consensus Real Estate, and Blackwater
Branding. Sponsorships for this program are still available.
Application and full program information can be found at downtownlynchburg.com/launch-lyh.
For more information about Launch LYH program, follow Downtown Lynchburg Association on
Instagram and Facebook, and sign up for the Downtown Lynchburg Association newsletter.
If you have any questions, please contact Kelvin Whitehurst, the Business Development Coordinator at
About Downtown Lynchburg Association
Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) is an accredited program of the Virginia Main Street and the
National Main Street Center™ and a member of the International Downtown Association. DLA works to
create a strong, vibrant, and welcoming downtown. For twenty-five years, the organization and the City
of Lynchburg have worked together to sustain and develop downtown as a vital economic, cultural,
recreational, residential, and historic center for our community.
About Community Business Launch
The Community Business Launch (CBL) is a place-based entrepreneurial development strategy
that fills a critical mass of vacant storefronts with expansion or start-up ventures. Local CBL
programs train entrepreneurs, creatives, and small business owners about business planning
practices. This training culminates in a group of finalists pitching their ideas to a panel of judges,
with winners receiving grant funding and support services from the community to kick-start their
About Truist Foundation
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to
inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes
strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have
more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus
on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses.
Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation