Last November we posted about a small business grant program established by EYA, the developers of the Chancellor’s Row community, in partnership with The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Last night EYA hosted a reception and networking event at Brookland’s San Antonio Bar and Grill to congratulate the local small businesses that were awarded a total of $55,000 in grants.
According to an EYA press release:
The fund, established as part of the St. Paul’s College redevelopment now known as Chancellor’s Row, provides grant monies to locally-owned businesses in ANC 5C (now 5E) in Ward 5. The grant program is designed to stimulate economic activity within the Ward, encourage entrepreneurial activity, and support businesses which provide local jobs and job training to local residents.
The grant recipients were: 4 U Body and Beauty Palace, Big Bear Café, Clean Green & Professional, Dance Place, Excel Movement Studios and Strong Mind, Strong Body.
We spoke with Carla Perlo, President of nearby Dance Place. She will be applying the grant money towards community programming as part of the organization’s dedication to bringing the arts to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Excel Studios owner Lesa McLaughlin said “I am thrilled” about the grant, and that it is perfectly timed, as she is undergoing a renovation of her nearby Pilates/Yoga/Zumba studio. She added that the grant will help her expand her staff, purchase new equipment, and give continuing education to her teachers.
Jack Lester, Senior Vice President at EYA kicked off the event, touting the other amenities brought to the community via Chancellors Row, which include a renovation of the Edgewood Triangle Park and scholarships. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie spoke praises of the development, and noted his role in facilitating relationships between development projects, communities, and small businesses. He added, “we can’t forget about 12th street, so local businesses grow, and hire local.” Bomani Johnson from the Community Foundation spoke about the work his group does in helping businesses like EYA reach out and improve communities, and he announced the grantees and handed out their checks. Sherri Morgan, an organizer of the upcoming Met Branch Trail 5K race also sang EYA’s praises for their sponsorship of the race, which will allow free registration for those participants under the age of 18.