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Staunton is brimming with inventive and creative entrepreneurs and dedicated non-profit organizations who serve the community. The BRIGHT IDEA INNOVATION GRANTS are a celebration of our local entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations and the transformative impact that one small idea can have on our community or business efforts.

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BRIGHT IDEA EXCHANGE
The first judging phase was Wednesday, January 29 at The American Hotel Banquet Room from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The community and a panel of judges selected the best ideas from the Exchange.
The finalists are as follows:
LTD 7, Lynne Breeden: Living the Dream TOGETHER
Artfulgifts, LLC, Lisa Jacenich: Let’s take the word starving out of artist.
DWELL Collective, Steve Kizer: DWELL Interactive Series
Celtic Tides, John Morman: Celtic Feis
Barking Dog, John Reese: Gourmet Cooking Lessons and How to Cook with Wine
Newtown Baking, William Willett: Wood-fired Oven
Beverley Street Studio School, Gena Adams: Queen City Plein Air
American Shakespeare Center, Danielle Hoffman: Who is Your Shakespeare personality?
Project Grows, Lisa Millette: Project Grow Fish

BRIGHT IDEA SUBMISSION
Those with the BRIGHTest ideas will be invited to submit a BRIGHT IDEA Concept Plan with the assistance of the SCCF (commercial) or the CFBR (non-profit) who will council those finalists selected from the BRIGHT IDEA EXCHANGE.

BRIGHT IDEA AWARDS
The two $5,000 grants (one commercial and one non-profit) will be awarded and the winners announced on Wednesday, March 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the BRIGHT IDEA AWARDS ceremony, at The American Hotel Banquet Room.

The BRIGHT IDEA INNOVATION GRANTS are funded and the program supported by a partnership including the Virginia Main Street Downtown Improvement Grant, the Staunton Downtown Development Association (SDDA), the Staunton Department of Economic Development (SDED), the Community Foundation of the Central Blue (CFBR), and the Staunton Creative Community Fund (SCCF). Participants will compete for one of two $5,000 grants; one will be awarded to an existing Downtown or Newtown business and one will be awarded to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves those districts. The grant funds must be dedicated for the purposes described in the BRIGHT IDEA Concept Plan and the project implemented on or before April 1, 2015. The BRIGHT IDEA partners make no representation regarding tax consequences of the grants, and grant recipients are responsible for determining their own tax consequences, if any, upon receipt of the grant.