StauntoNites - Staunton Downtown Development Association | Staunton, Virginia


What is the StauntoNites Grant Competition?

Inspired by the Community Perception Survey Implemented in October 2016, the StauntoNites program addresses the need for a monthly event and a more vibrant nightlife, where we host 12 events from (at least) 4-9PM in and around Downtown, the second Saturday of the month.  StauntoNites grant will empower your event ideas such as:

  • Holidays or seasonal such as Fair Trade Day, Donut Day, Christmas or Mother’s Day
  • Fundraisers for clubs or charities
  • Business category – focused such as fashion, antiques, arts and culture
  • Health and wellness such as bike rides or runs
  • Food, beer, and wine, crawls or markets, tastings or progressive dinners
  • Targeted Market sectors such as men, women, children, visitors or pets
  • Business clusters such as block parties

Note: Political or religious events are not advised.


StauntoNites Grant applicants must select from the following dates for their event to be eligible for the grant.  Applicants will be asked to make a first, second and third choice.  StauntoNites will fund one event per month for 12 months.

  • April 2018 Saturday 14
  • May 2018 Saturday 12
  • June 2018 Saturday 9
  • July 2018 Saturday 14
  • August 2018 Saturday 11
  • September 2018 Saturday 8
  • October 2018 Saturday 13
  • November 2018 Saturday 10
  • December 2018 Saturday 8
  • January 2019 Saturday 12
  • February 2018 Saturday 9
  • March 2018 Saturday 9

Who is Eligible to Apply?

All SDDA Member businesses in the Downtown Service District (DSD) are eligible!  Organizers may select one non-profit partner and one outside DSD SDDA Member business partner, as long as the business is independently owned.  Over the course of 12 months, we would include all of the areas of Downtown, including Beverley Street, The Wharf, The Train Station, and Central Avenue, etc., depending on who applies for the grant.

Note: StauntoNites grants are only available to SDDA members. The SDDA will offer a special $75 Outside DSD Business rate for participating partners. Non-profits are in-kind members, at no cost.

Event grant awards would depend on the number of participating businesses, including the organizer. 

What will the StauntoNites Grant Fund?

SDDA Member applicants, “Organizers” will be putting on their creative hat to conceptualize and implement events that will be supported by the StauntoNites Grant.

Each month, a business “Organizer” and up to 4 partners will receive StauntoNites Grant dollars for the experiential event coordination and expenses, advertising and entertainment. Event partners can include any Downtown Service District business, including retail, restaurant, service, lodging, etc. “Organizers” may also partner with one outside DSD business and one non-profit that supports Staunton, VA.

(You may engage as many partners as you like, but the grant will only pay for up to 5.) The grant will fund one event.

  • $300 for a minimum of three (3) business partners, including yourself 
  • $400 supports four (4) business partners, including yourself
  • $500 for five (5) business partners, including yourself

What are the Marketing and Advertising Tools provided by the StauntoNites Grant?

The SDDA will be responsible for:

    • Provide a $2,550 advertising and marketing package that includes print, radio and television coverage
    • Place, purchase and manage all of the StauntoNites advertising.   
    • Provide mandatory Experiential Marketing consultation and assistance with event planning
    • StauntoNites branded templates for a Facebook event page, posters, a web button connecting “Organizer” websites to the StauntoNites event Calendar on and on Facebook

WQSV 106.3 Community Radio Sponsor

    • StauntoNites radio sponsor
    • 25 ads per month (25% discount)
    • Provides monthly interviews
    • Features monthly events on their Community Calendar on-air and online
    • Hosts live remotes at each StauntoNites event  

WHSV – ABC TV 3 Sponsor

    • Community Calendar Listing
    • Weekend Picks Listing- Thursday nights
    • Noon News Interview (Airs Thursday’s prior to event) promoting the event
    • Station ID’s (10 seconds air time, portion promoting event, audio and visual)
    • Monthly production of station ID’s

News Leader Mini’s

    • Sunday, Monday and in Thursday’s Go! section


    • 6 spots, two weeks out


    • Screen shot at each showing for 30 days

The “Organizers” and partners will be responsible for the following, at least 2 weeks before the event: 

  • Selecting an event spokesperson
  • Coordinating community event interviews with WQSV
  • Coordinating interviews with WHSV-TV 3
  • Printing and distribution of handbills and posters, using the StauntoNites branded shells
  • Providing and approving logos and advertising copy to the SDDA
  • Organizers must create and share a Facebook event page event details and related posts on Facebook and provide event photos and captions on/for Instagram, using #StauntoNites, #LoveDowntownStaunton or #ShopStauntonFirst
  • Register event on Virginia .org
  • Coordination and implementation of their event

What is the Entertainment Benefit?

Each grant will reimburse up to $200 for entertainment, as part of an event that is supportive of surrounding business partners, with the following contingencies: 

  • Entertainment by definition is an event, live performance, or activity designed to entertain others
  • Entertainment must be approved before the performance
  • The StauntoNites Grant will only pay for family oriented entertainment.  Lewd or inappropriate activities will not supported by the StauntoNites grant
  • Street entertainment must be within the limits of the law. See below for noise ordinance!/staunton08/Staunton0825.html#8.25.010
  • Street entertainment will require approval from the City of Staunton: event application and a Certificate of Insurance for outside/street activities
  • Entertainment must be free to the public and any product or takeaway created as a result (facepainting, craft item, etc.) must be free to the audience or participants
  • Grant recipients are welcome to use the SDDA Stage, upon request

What other requirements are expected from grant recipients?

  • “Organizers” and partners will pursue 8-10 neighboring businesses who will be encouraged to stay open until at least 9PM, regardless of whether or not they are event participant
  • “Organizers” and partners will submit the % of increase or decrease in foot traffic and sales and the number of business neighbors who stayed open late, after the event 
  • The SDDA AD Hoc Promotions Committee would require Experiential Marketing consultation to assist with event programming, where business Organizers would develop the event details and rally their participating business partners. (Time/Date TBD)

Organizer/Partner Rules and regulations: An Overview

Please read before completing the Application!

  • Applicants must be SDDA members located in the Downtown Service District
  • The SDDA will prorate Outside DSD Membership to $75
  • Must have at least three (3) and up to five (5) partnering businesses (includes the Organizer) to apply. Event grants will range from $300 to $500
  • Must complete the online application between November 1, 2017 and January 15, 2018
  • Must schedule the event on one of the calendar dates provided (Saturday, the second full weekend of the month). Must select first, second and third choice for the date on the application
  • Organizers, partners and neighboring businesses must be encouraged to stay open until at least 9PM (8-10 total) 
  • Organizers must make neighboring businesses aware of the event and encourage later hours
  • Grant funded events are free to the public and rain or shine
  • Organizers and partners must attend one experiential marketing consultation
  • Organizers and partners must attend one committee consultation
  • Must sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the SDDA
  • Must meet required deadlines and demonstrate full engagement (respond to outreach, attend meetings, etc.) throughout the process by responding promptly and follow through as promised and required
  • Must pitch their idea, along with partnering businesses or organizations, to a team of judges in February 2018 at a public pitch night (date TBD)
  • Must make their own application to the City 30 Days out, as needed (The SDDA will assist, as needed.)
  • Must provide their own event insurance 30 days out, as needed
  • Must submit a drop out notification at least 40 days in advance or incur a fine of $225
  • Must collect traffic and revenue % increase/decrease from each business partner and submit to the SDDA within 10 business days after the event 
  • Must make proof of business outreach
  • Must follow reimbursement procedures and make requests for grant funds within 30 days after the event
  • Must post and distribute branded marketing materials including hard copy, online and on social media, as instructed (see Marketing)
  • Must meet advertising copy and promotional deadlines

Apply Here