Virginia-Highland Launches Neighborhood-Wide GoFundMe, Will Split Donations Across 50 Businesses

Civic Association is looking to raise $100,000 to support its businesses struggling through the pandemic
VA-Hi Building
Photo: Official

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association (VHCA) Thursday launched what could be the first neighborhood-wide GoFundMe initiative in Atlanta. The organization is looking to raise $100,000 to be split evenly among 50 businesses (listed below) as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact brick-and-mortars, and a second round of financial support from Washington seems more and more unlikely.

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A rep for GoFundMe told What Now Atlanta the “Virginia-Highland Civic Association is certainly a stand-out” in terms of the number of businesses it is supporting via a single campaign, but that campaigns like the Black-Owned Business Relief Fund and the Adair Park Housing Relief Fund also sought to raise money for many people and businesses.

Chase Johnson is leading the crowdfunding effort on behalf of the VHCA, writing it’s an opportunity for the organization to support the very same businesses that have supported the community over the years. “They have raised money for our schools through dine-outs, to restore our fire station through road races and visits with Santa and sponsored our security patrol,” Johnson wrote. “They have pitched in on neighborhood cleanups and beautification projects, never asking for anything in return.”

“A vibrant business district is one reason we all live in Virginia-Highland,” Johnson wrote. “It is why people have been flocking here from all over metro-Atlanta for decades. That is all at risk.”

Below are the businesses that this money will be split evenly among:

  • ACE Intown Hardware
  • Ampersand Branding Co.
  • Atkins Park Tavern
  • Atlanta Pro Bikes
  • Bar.bacoa
  • Blind Willie’s Blues Bar
  • Cachee
  • Callie’s Hot Lil Biscuits
  • Dakota J’s
  • Dark Horse Tavern
  • DBA Barbecue
  • Diesel Filling Station
  • DTox Juice
  • Empire South
  • Fontaine’s Oyster Bar
  • George’s Bar & Restaurant
  • Helmet Hairworx
  • Highland Eye Boutique
  • Highland Pet Supply
  • Highland Tap
  • Highland Woodworking
  • Highland Yoga
  • Knock Music House
  • La Tavola
  • Limerick Junction
  • Little Barn Apothecary
  • Mali Restaurant
  • Marco’s Pizza
  • Moe’s & Joe’s Tavern
  • Murphy’s Restaurant
  • Neighbor’s Pub
  • Ocean Wave
  • Osteria 832 Pizza & Pasta
  • Paolo’s Gelato
  • Pink Barre
  • Press & Grind
  • San Francisco Coffee Roasting
  • Sugarcoat Nails
  • Suite Bridal
  • Surin of Thailand
  • Suzy Q Nails
  • Sweet Peach Waxing
  • Taco Mac
  • The Original El Taco
  • The Warren City Club
  • Threadz
  • Truva Turkish Kitchen
  • Tuscany at Your Table
  • Urban Cottage Inc.
  • Urban Evolution Salon

“A vaccine is on the way, but these businesses need help right now to hang on for just a few more months,” Johnson wrote. “That is why the VHCA and other community leaders are asking our neighbors to support them during this time. We are raising money to go directly to the businesses in the neighborhood. Many of us are struggling as COVID-19 has changed everything that is familiar. Please donate now so that we don’t lose the wonderful businesses and friends who operate them too.”

The VHCA’s GoFundMe launch arrives on the heels of two recent campaigns for Atlanta institutions The Colonnade and Manuel’s Tavern. So far, both fundraisers have been wildly succesfful.

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

7 Responses

  1. Call me whatever you want, but this is just sad. A neighborhood wide GoFundMe on the backs of other ones being successful? How about the people give the money directly to the businesses they want to survive instead of giving a cut to some stupid internet donation site? What a joke

  2. don’t think the highlands were doing that well anyways pre-covid, the pandemic’s gotta be hitting them hard. the beltline has taken so much business away from the area.

    1. Yeah, there have been a lot of dark storefronts over there for years now.
      My friend was approached about taking over two existing leases over there pre-Covid. He was like there’s no way I’m opening up with vacancies all around. Vacancies are not a good draw for customers/businesses.

      Va-Hi was an entertainment district, and now that there are plenty of those areas in the city, they should probably reinvent their commercial district.

      The rents are too high, and the locals need more essential businesses over there– not just
      restaurants and bars. And the neighborhood needs to get off of their Amazon addiction and shop
      locally year round.

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