Develop Petersburg, Virginia, was made possible due to a grant award of $60,000 by the Governor's Second Annual Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) initiative to help the City of Petersburg with the efforts of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce to have a more robust entrepreneur environment in the Downtown Petersburg area.















The Chamber of Commerce applied to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VHCD) for CBL consideration, knowing this initiative would be a perfect vehicle to excite and educate the community about entrepreneurship opportunities available in the city’s uptown area.


The City of Petersburg was one of seven localities to participate in this year’s CBL. The other participating localities are the towns of Pulaski, Vinton, Marion and Strasburg and the cities of Martinsville and Lynchburg.



Program Overview



Develop Petersburg, Virginia, is an intensive six week entrepreneurial boot-camp program, culminating into a business plan competition, where participants vie for a total of $40,000 in grant funds and additional prizes and loan opportunities to help start or expand businesses in the uptown area.


Grant funds will be between $5,000 and $10,000 among the top three to five winners, depending on what each business plan requires. The program will be administered by Chamber and its coordinating team, which includes representatives from VDHCD, City of Petersburg, Longwood University Small Business Development Center, Virginia Gatewary Region, Community Foundation, and Longwood University’s Small Business Development Center. 


Application Process

All eligible participants must complete the Application by March 12, 2016.

A selection committeewill review all applications and select participants based on the following:

  • Understanding of program requirements, which includes, but not limited to, launching or expanding business in Petersburg, attending all six boot-camp classes on Thursday evenings starting March 24, 2016, and if awarded prize monies, must be ready to open the business by September 30, 2016.

  • Desired business categories, such as, but not limited to:

    • Convenient-oriented businesses, which can be filled by existing vacant store fronts. The renovated residential lofts have created a need for convenient living, such Grocery or convenience stores, Professional services, and retail services.

  • Product, service or business description (business idea should be clear, concise and easy to understand and should clearly differentiated from others in the market).

  • Business fits within local and regional strategies and initiatives.

  • Reason for participation.






Start your Develop Petersburg process by submitting your completed forms by March 12, 2016. 


Develop Petersburg, Virginia Application


Develop Petersburg, Virginia Competition Guidelines


Develop Petersburg, Virginia Publicity Release


Develop Petersburg, Waiver