Small Business Start-Up of the Year – Venue 22

Small Business Start-Up of the Year

A downtown Danville building where customers once went to buy cell phones and electronics has become a spot where you can now host a wedding reception or other special event. Venue 22 on North Jackson Street is one of this year’s Small Business of the Year Award winners,  selected by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Danville Area Community College.

Ethan and Bethany Burt have been involved in a photography business for years but decided they wanted to acquire a building to host events…

          {“We aim to serve people who want to either have a wedding, a bridal shower, a baby shower. We’ve had corporate events, family reunions – all of those things we’ve already had. We aim to host pop-up restaurants ourselves just to bring in some interesting cuisine.”}

          Bethany remembers when they first toured the building…

          {“We walked back here and I saw the exposed brick, and I just immediately had the idea for twinkle lights and painting everything black, and using the space and turning it into a beautiful little venue. And everything just fell into place from there,” said Bethany.}

          Both Bethany and Ethan Burt say they wanted a downtown Danville location…

{“We really, really wanted to be Downtown Danville,” said Bethany. “It was a non-starter to go anywhere else,” added Ethan.

“We have looked at other buildings in other areas, but we’ve been very specific in our mission to be part of the rebuilding and the uplifting of Downtown Danville,” added Bethany.}

          Like all businesses, Venue 22 has had to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethan was asked how they are handling it…

          “During this time there are so many workers and students and teachers who are displaced, working from home, not able to go to school, etc. We have a beautiful space and high speed internet and we want to open our doors to you! So everyone remains safe and comfortable, you may absolutely wear masks and we will have extra cleaning protocols in place.”

          The Burts have only lived in Danville for eight years, but they – along with Jack – their two-year-old son – are the sort of young family that all communities strive to attract. And Bethany says they already have thoughts about bringing more to Danville.

          {“We have an entire upstairs of this building that is not renovated. It needs a lot of work, so that of course comes with needing money. So we’re just slowly beginning our process,” said Bethany. “If everyone sticks around to kind of follow us and see what we do – we really plan to have some really awesome businesses that we can bring to Danville.”}

           In addition to Venue 22 where events are held, the Burts also rent out items ranging from silverware and unique candle holders to furniture for events which are being held away from their building. They say their goal is not to have large events at Venue 22. But Ethan says the building can comfortably sit over 70 people.

Contact Venue 22, 22 N. Jackson Street Danville, IL. via: Facebook, Phone 217-474-4628, or website