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January 26, 2015

My SWVA Opportunity Entrepreneur Challenge, held at the Breaks Park in Dickenson County, awarded $5,000 to Jill Branham for best business plan.

Abingdon, Virginia – People Incorporated is pleased to announce that it awarded $5,000 to Jill Branham, owner of Main Street Pizzeria and Grill in Haysi Virginia, to use in opening her new business.

“Good Times, Good Friends, Great Food!”

Jill Branham, a Southwest Virginia native who owns and operates the Main Street Pizzeria and Grill in Haysi Virginia with her father-in-law Johnnie, recently won the $5,000 prize from the MySWVAOpportunity Entrepreneur Challenge hosted by People Incorporated. Jill made the following comments about the challenge: “The Challenge gave us best practices and the confidence to put our ideas into action by opening the Main Street Pizzeria and Grill. Having a strong business plan to fall back on when the business opened has been extremely useful in making sound everyday business decisions. It’s been an “over the top” experience and I can’t believe it was free.”

Jill believes that the key to their business’ success is a healthy work environment. They strive to create an atmosphere where staff enjoy their work and fellowship, create a team that is dedicated and devoted to serving the best food, with the best service, in a great atmosphere – consistently. They currently have six full-time employees and anticipate hiring more employees soon.

Jill attended the MySWVAOpportunity Entrepreneur Challenge that was held for eight weeks at the Breaks Park Conference Center for business owners/entrepreneurs in Buchanan and Dickenson Counties. Of the 17 participants, 12 completed the Challenge, and 6 submitted and presented business plans for the Challenge. Jill Branham, who opened the Main Street Pizzeria and Grill on Main Street in Haysi, won $5,000 to use in opening this business. The prize money will be used to purchase new chairs, inventory and a Point of Sale system. The grand opening was held December 8, 2014. Workshops were facilitated by People Incorporated Financial Services and were funded through the Appalachian Regional Commission, Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission and Wells Fargo Bank.


About People Incorporated Financial Services
Headquartered in Abingdon, VA, People Incorporated Financial Services is a non-profit, certified Community Development Financial Institution that promotes economic self-sufficiency and access to capital for low-income residents and communities by providing business development and lending services, technical assistance, financial and credit literacy training, and marketing services to help businesses attract private investment and create jobs.  Since 1992, People Incorporated Financial Services has deployed over $47.3 million in loan funds, and has helped to create and/or retain over 2,600 jobs in low-income communities. People Incorporated Financial Services is an affiliate corporation of People Incorporated, one of the nation’s most successful and innovative Community Action Agencies. For more information about People Incorporated’s programs and services visit People Incorporated on the web at www.peopleinc.net.

About People Incorporated of Virginia
People Incorporated is a non-profit Community Action Agency and Community Development Corporation committed to providing opportunities for people to reach their goals in order to enhance their lives, families, and communities. People Incorporated develops programs and strategies that are designed to move people and communities into the economic mainstream. In 2014, People Incorporated provided services to more than 6,400 clients and generated an economic impact of over $59 million in communities throughout Virginia. For more information about People Incorporated’s programs and services contact the Abingdon office at 276-623-9000 or visit us at www.peopleinc.net.