In this issue...
For the Community: HOME for the Holidays, Holiday Gift Guide, Window Decorating Contest Winners, 2021 Dream Launch, PATHS Ribbon Cutting, Dan the Gnome, Downtown in the News, River District Business Highlights, River District Events

For River District Merchants: Main Street America Advocacy, Regional Covid-19 Update, 2021 Dream Launch, Local Covid-19 Business Resources, Comcast Rise Grant, State Covid-19 Update
If you missed watching HOME for the Holidays on December 5th, you can still see it on the River District Association's Facebook Page and every evening at 8pm on Comcast Channel 10, and River Street Network Channel 122.

Also, you can still submit a 5 second holiday greeting to be used in the 2021 HOME for the Holidays production.
River District Holiday Gift Guide - There is still time to shop!
Please note a couple of corrections!

Redeemed Christian Dance Studio should be listed under the Fitness and Dance section. They are located at:
404 Craghead Street
Danville, VA 24541

New Image Hair Design had the incorrect address. They are located at:
539 Main Street
Danville, VA 24541
River District Window Decorating Contest Winners!
We are so excited to announce the winners of the 2020 HOME for the Holidays Window Decorating Contest in the River District.

All the merchants did such creative and wonderful displays.

We had over 600 Danville residents vote, the most ever!
Judge's Choice: Photography by Lisa
2021 Dream Launch Boot Camp Applications Still Open
The RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp is for entrepreneurs that wish to obtain education on how to open a business in the Dan River Region. It is also open to existing businesses that would like to hone their existing business knowledge. This will be the third year for the RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp and Pitch Competition that began in Spring 2019; since that time, over 150 individuals have participated in some or all of the Bootcamp classes, with 9 businesses awarded a total of $140,000 in grant funding over the course of the program.

Participants in the Bootcamp can have the opportunity to pitch their ideas at either the RDA Dream Launch Pitch (if located or wishing to locate in the River District), OR the Rev-Up Danville Pittsylvania Pitch (if wishing to located outside the River District, or in Pittsylvania County). Pitch participants have the opportunity of being awarded start-up or expansion funds for their business idea.

The program is 8 weeks, and begins in January 2021. Because of Covid-19 the 2021 Dream Launch Bootcamp will be virtual.
Ribbon cutting ceremony held on December 14th for the new PATHS Community Pharmacy and Community Dental Center
PATHS Community Pharmacy
From left to right: Steven Osborne - RDA Board Member, Anjanette Farmer - AHEC Program Director, Mayor Alonzo Jones, Joanie Petty - PATHS Board Chair, Marsha Mendenhall - PATHS CEO, Vickie Adams-Lovelace - Pharmacist

PATHS Community Dental Center
From left to right: Mayor Alonzo Jones, Steven Osborne- RDA Board Member, Dr. Rachel Gatewood - PATHS Community Dental Center, Marsha Mendenhall- PATHS CEO, Joanie Petty - PATHS Board Chair,
Dan the Gnome says THANK YOU for participating in his visit and the HOME for the Holidays Coloring Contest!

Ten lucky families received passes to the Community Holiday Light Show at Ballou Park!

Thank you for participating Ashley Duenos, Travis Hackworth, Leigh Allgood Allan (and kiddos!), Deb Smith, Brooke Murphy, Rebecca Woods Moore (and kiddos!), and Camee Leigh Bryant, Scott Shackleford, Brittany Dietrich and Ann Sylves!
Downtown in the News
New storefront gallery in Danville's River District a window into world of art -
Local designers benefiting from an increased demand for hand-crafted gifts - WSET
River District Association announces RDA 2021 Dream Launch Boot Camp - Chatham Star Tribune
The River District Business Highlights
Coming soon...The Bee Hotel
Photo credit: The Bee Facebook Page

420 Patton Street
Danville, VA 24541
"With its buzzworthy backstory and unique urban boutique style, The Bee is set for a headline-making hotel debut in Danville, Virginia’s bustling River District. The 47-room newcomer is located in what was once home to the city’s iconic broadsheet, The Danville Register & Bee, now freshly reimagined as a warm and welcoming home base for business travelers and Virginia vacationers."
Check out the 2020 Recipients of the Dream Launch Pitch Awards. You can learn more about them in the River District Association's article:

I love that Danville is such a huge supporter of small businesses. I am so grateful to have my business in this community.” – Lauren Parks

406 Lynn Street
Danville, VA 24541
“Dominion Athletics is a welcoming environment that challenges individuals both mentally and physically all while building an environment of inclusiveness.” -Jeremy Clifton

308 Court Street
Danville, VA 24541
Words of wisdom for new businesses: "Be deliberate in how you spend your time and money, and do not rush into opening...Also, remember always that you are starting a business, and treat it like such. Separate the business from your personal life - legally and financially. " - Mathew Switick

“My main motivator lies in our name. Doesn’t everyone want to make their mother proud?”
– Dustin Haberer

“We love our customers and the response we get when new customers taste our cake for the first time makes us all smile.”
– The Walker Family

River District Events
Make and Take Kits: Magical Land Series, Danville Public Library, January 1st, 2021
Register to reserve your family’s kit by clicking on the link to our website below and filling out the reservation form. You will be contacted when your kit is available for pick up at the library's 2nd floor service desk. Monthly kits will be available starting on the first business day of each month.
Danville Public Library, January 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, 11-11:30 am
Join Chrislyn at the library for songs, stories, and activities that promote language development and pre-literacy skills for children and their parents or caregivers.
January 16th, 12-1:30pm
Online Event
This event is part of the Middle Border Forward Leadership Academy! Now, you can experience key components of the innovative MBF Fellowship program without the year-long commitment! These monthly courses can be completed separately or as a series. Join us to sharpen your skills and make an even greater impact on our region.
Main Street Art Collective
February 6th, 2021, 1-5pm
All supplies are provided. Paint is exterior grade. Options for the class: 24"x24" for $65 or 36"x36" for $85. Call the shop to register, and indicate what size quilt you'd like to paint. Must sign up by January 15th, 2021.
For The River District Merchant Community
Tell Congress to Support Main Street
Main Street America is seeking support for a $100 million dollar competitive grant program to support coordinating programs, local programs and Main Street businesses. Complete this form to send a letter to your representatives in the House and Senate and speak up for Main Street.
Regional Covid-19 Update
In this virtual event, community leaders provide an informative update of the impacts of COVID-19 on our region.

Featured Presenters:
Dr. Balaji Desai, MD | Sovah Health
Ken Larking | City Manager, City of Danville
Alan Larson | President, Sovah Health
David Smitherman | County Administrator, Pittsylvania County
Scott Spillmann | District Health Director, Virginia Department of Health
RDA Dream Launch Boot Camp is also for existing businesses.
RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp is not just for start-up businesses. If you are an existing business you can hone your business skills and participate in the Dream Launch Pitch.

Danville and Pittsylvania County still have resources available to help local businesses address challenges related to Covid-19
"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County have put together a running list of resources for regional businesses. The situation is very fluid, so this page will be update often as new information becomes available." -

If you’re a business owner who would like to discuss available assistance in more detail, please contact the city offices.
$10,000 Marketing and Technology Grant Available for BIPOC Small Businesses
Comcast RISE - Representation, Investment, Strength, Empowerment
Applications accepted starting November 24th, 2020

Comcast has committed to a multiyear plan to fight injustice and inequality. As part of this commitment from Chairman and CEO, Brian Roberts, Comcast is allocating substantial resources to help small businesses. Small businesses are core to who we are, and we know that businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have been impacted at a higher rate this year.

With that in mind, Comcast developed Comcast RISE – a program that stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment. It is initially available for Black small business owners, and beginning November 28, 2020, all BIPOC small business owners will be eligible to apply. In addition, all small businesses are able to sign up for free marketing insights and resources. In the future, the program aims to expand to other small business owners.

Comcast RISE offers marketing and technology makeovers, which may include media placements, marketing consultations, commercial creative production services, or technology services such as computer equipment, internet, voice and cybersecurity from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and Comcast Business, Comcast’s cable provider to small and mid-size businesses. And, in the coming months, Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000.

Please use this link for details on the selection criteria and to apply.
Virginia's Gov. Northam Announces New COVID 19 Restrictions
On Thursday, December 10th Gov. Northam announced new COVID19 restrictions. See the full press release.

“These are common-sense things we can all do to take care of each other and stay safe. This is not about getting people in trouble—this is about everyone doing their part and reducing opportunities for people to get sick.”

The following mitigation measures will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14: 

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.

  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.

  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.

  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.

  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

What is the River District Association?
Do you want to be a part of a thriving River District? RDA takes Board of Directors applications all year long. Fill out an interest form to be considered for the next board opening!
River District Association is moving!
Stay tuned for news of our move (Mid January), and then come visit us at:

208 North Union Street
Danville, VA 24541
River District Association |