StauntoNites Grants


  • Develop a quarterly event that enriches nightlife.
    • Encourages later business hours
    • Provides street entertainment
    • Encourages performance in Downtown
  • Support community and business initiatives by assisting with event planning and promotion.
    • Focus on building relationships with non-profits

StauntoNites Description

This is the second year of the StauntoNites grants which support the development of business-driven events.  The Promotions Committee wants to support quarterly events, where we host 4 events from (at least) 4-8PM in and around Downtown, on a Saturday evening.  

Each quarter, a business “Organizer,” one local non-profit and up to 3 more partners, will receive a $300 – $500 in grant dollars for the experiential event coordination and expenses, an additional $2940 advertising package, plus a $200 stipend for live entertainment. Events could include one outside component (weather permitting).

In addition to the event partners and a local non-profit organization, “Organizers” will pursue at least 10 neighboring businesses (includes restaurants) who will stay open until at least 8PM, regardless of whether or not they are event participant. After the event, the “Organizer” and partners will submit the % of increase or decrease in foot traffic and sales and the number of business neighbors who stayed open late and pictures of the event.  

All SDDA Member businesses in the Downtown Service District (DSD) are eligible!  Organizers must select one non-profit partner and may select one outside DSD SDDA Member business partner, as long as the business is independently owned.  Over the course of 12 months, ideally 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.

The SDDA AD Hoc Promotions Committee would require Nonprofit Relationship Building consultation to assist with event programming and non-profit selection, where business Organizers would develop the event details and rally their participating non-profit partners. 

Organizer/Partner Eligibility and Requirements

  • SDDA members located in the Downtown Service District
  • Organizers MUST partner with one local non-profit
  • Organizers may partner with one outside DSD independently owned business
  • The SDDA will prorate Outside DSD Membership to $75/ non-profits will get an in-kind (no cost) membership
  • All partners must be SDDA Members (property owners are automatically SDDA members)
  • Must have at least three (3) and up to five (5) partners (includes the Organizer) to apply. Event grants will range from $300 to $500
  • Must complete the online application at least 60 days before the event date between September 1, 2019 and June 1, 2020. Quarterly grants will be awarded both on eligibility and on a first come, first served basis and one per quarter 
  • Must schedule the event on one of the Saturdays in the quarter selected (October-December | January – March | April – June | July – September) 
  • Organizers, partners and neighboring businesses must stay open until at least 8PM (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
  • Must discuss their idea to the StauntonNites Judging Committee (partners encouraged)
  • Organizers and non-profit partners must attend one 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 make their own application to the City 60 Days out, as needed (The SDDA will assist, as needed.)
  • Must provide their own event insurance 30 days out, as required.
  • Must submit a drop out notification at least 30 days in advance or incur a fine of $225
  • Must collect traffic and revenue % increase/decrease from each business partner and submit event recap and 3 pictures to the SDDA within 10 business days after the event 
  • 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 deadlines


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. 

Organizers MUST partner with one non-profit organization that serves the DSD and may choose to work with one outside Downtown Service District (DSD) business, so long as it is independently owned. Event grant awards would depend on the number of participating partners, including the organizer.  (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) partners, including yourself and one non-profit 
  • $400 supports four (4)  partners, including yourself and one non-profit
  • $500 for five (5) partners, including yourself and one non-profit


  • Each grant will reimburse up to $200 for entertainment, as part of an event that is supportive of surrounding business partners, as described above  
  • Entertainment must be approved before the performance
  • Entertainment by definition is an event, live performance, or activity designed to entertain others
  • 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
  • The StauntoNites Grant will only pay for family oriented entertainment.  Lewd or inappropriate activities will not supported by the StauntoNites grant 
  • 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
  • Grant recipients are welcome to use the SDDA Stage, upon request

Marketing and Promotions Package Valued at $2940:

The SDDA will provide marketing and promotional support two weeks preceding the event: 

  • Provide StauntoNites templates for posters, handbills, press release, Facebook event page and News Leader and the StauntoNites logo, which must be included in event pro forma. 
  • Manage advertising copy for the News Leader Go! 
  • WMRA: 22 commercials  
  • MIX 93.1: 40 commercials on MIX 93.1,, WKDW, and 20 one-minute updates on WKDW and MIX
  • WHSV-TV 3: Community Calendar Listing, Weekend Picks Listing- Thursday nights
  • Noon News Live Interview with Bob Grebe (Airs Thursday’s prior to event)
  • Facebook: $100 page boost and shares

The “Organizers” and partners will be responsible for:  

  • Coordinating community event interviews with WHSV –TV 3 Bob Grebe
  • Design, printing and distribution of handbills and posters
  • Providing and approving logos and 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

Marketing Schedule: (SDDA and Grant Recipient)

StauntoNites grant recipients and the SDDA will adhere to the following marketing schedule. 

  • 4 Weeks out:  Facebook Event Page, E-promotion in newsletters, Lowdown submission and Calendar on SDDA site and register on 
  • 3 Weeks Out: Posters, handbills to Domino’s and businesses, radio copy 
  • 2 weeks out: Press Release, News Leader GO!,
  • 1 week out –Thursday interview with Bob Grebe at TV 3 station

How to apply for StauntoNites

Create:  your event concept
Find: one local non-profit and up to 3 business partners
Read: the rules and regulations
Complete: the survey application
Select: your top three dates