Virginia Rural Leadership Institute Now Accepting Applications for 2022 Cohort Members

The Rural Leadership Institute (RLI) is a rural leadership program that develops and supports highly-skilled, highly motivated leaders who are committed to revitalizing their communities across the Commonwealth. RLI addresses the need for high-quality, professional leadership and economic development training that equips community leaders with the skills they need to lead long-term economic advancement in … More Virginia Rural Leadership Institute Now Accepting Applications for 2022 Cohort Members

Four Impactful Marketing Tips for Main Streets and Destinations

Our guest blogger, Brian Ostrovsky, is the founder and CEO of Locable and the author of “Marketing 3-4-5™: The Business Owner’s Guide to Effective Local Marketing in 15-Minutes or Less. He has taught Marketing 3-4-5™ to thousands of small businesses with dozens of local workshops with Main Streets and state program around the U.S. – … More Four Impactful Marketing Tips for Main Streets and Destinations

Inclusive Backing: New Grant Program Helps Underrepresented Small Businesses Thrive

As small businesses continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, many of them still need support to keep their doors open. To back underrepresented small business owners as they navigate the pandemic and plan for long-term success and resilience, American Express has partnered alongside Main Street America to launch a $1.65 million year-round program called Inclusive … More Inclusive Backing: New Grant Program Helps Underrepresented Small Businesses Thrive

Share Your Story: Tell Us How Your Community Celebrated Small Business Saturday!

Undoubtedly, localities across Virginia rallied their communities around the small businesses at the heart of their downtowns during Small Business Saturday! As commercial districts continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, local Main Street programs have pivoted their traditional #ShopSmall plans or started new traditions to accommodate health and safety guidelines. Let us … More Share Your Story: Tell Us How Your Community Celebrated Small Business Saturday!

Winter Placemaking for Main Streets & Neighborhoods

In 2020, Bench Consulting & Patronicity, proposed creative ideas for quickly implementable, low cost winter placemaking interventions aimed at driving visitors back to Main Street and encouraging them to stay longer, supporting area restaurants and businesses. Winter Places 2.0 is an update to the guide focusing on project reports from 12-communities across Massachusetts that implemented … More Winter Placemaking for Main Streets & Neighborhoods

Better Community Planning & Economic Development

Recently, Leverage NC hosted a four-part webinar series, Better Community Planning & Economic Development, led by Ed McMahon, Chair Emeritus of Main Street America and a leading national authority on land use policy and economic development. The series explored the following: Secrets of Successful Communities How the Pandemic is Affecting Real Estate & Land Use … More Better Community Planning & Economic Development

CCV Series: November 2021 Recap & Additional Resources

Educational Webinar In November, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) welcomed Nicole Martorana, who has extensive experience in creating meaningful opportunities that connect people through cultural exploration and dialogue, to lead a panel discussion of leaders with experience in celebrating local foodways and shared culinary culture. If you missed the live webinar, … More CCV Series: November 2021 Recap & Additional Resources

The Vibrancy of Farmville Can’t Be Overstated

Our guest blogger, Zachary Whitlow (pictured left), is a Community Revitalization Specialist at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), working closely with the agency’s Virginia Main Street (VMS) program and Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). He loves helping communities across Virginia unleash the power of small-scale, grassroots revitalization to build a sense of place and … More The Vibrancy of Farmville Can’t Be Overstated

Identifying Strategies to Grow Your Community’s Outdoor Recreation Economy and Revitalize Main Street

Has your rural community / locality struggled to support economic growth and diversification, as well as offer opportunities for people to connect with the natural world? Sponsored by the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), USDA Forest Service and EPA, the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) planning assistance program helps communities identify strategies to grow … More Identifying Strategies to Grow Your Community’s Outdoor Recreation Economy and Revitalize Main Street

Martinsville’s Uptown Partnership Awarded $30,000 Rural Community Development Initiative Grant

In July 2020, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) began working to provide comprehensive capacity building services through the federal Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) to six recipient organizations located in rural and/or economically challenged regions of Virginia. The RCDI program seeks to increase a community’s readiness to undertake community and economic … More Martinsville’s Uptown Partnership Awarded $30,000 Rural Community Development Initiative Grant