The downtown artwalk: Measure your event for better outcomes

Many communities conduct monthly or seasonal art walks. The events can create an evening vibrancy downtown, encouraging foot traffic. But in even the most successful events there are still opportunities to broaden the reach and impact. This season, consider working with your partners to tie an outcome measure or two to your event as a … More The downtown artwalk: Measure your event for better outcomes

Recapping Spring Feature Training in Harrisonburg

Forty-five community leaders and volunteers attended the latest Virginia Main Street (VMS) training at Cally’s Restaurant and Brewing Co. in downtown Harrisonburg May 27, 2009.  This year’s VMS Spring Feature focused on the public realm in downtown, the space between buildings which includes all public spaces, streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, and open space.  The theme … More Recapping Spring Feature Training in Harrisonburg

How to attract Gen “Y”

Those of you who made it to the “Livable Downtowns” training held in Harrisonburg a couple of weeks ago know that just building upper story housing or rehabbing an old warehouse into loft apartments is not quite enough to get people living downtown.  It is important to have the amenities people need (dry cleaning, corner … More How to attract Gen “Y”

Getting Main Street communities in the news

As champions of Virginia’s traditional commercial districts, Main Street leaders can be effective marketers for their communities.  Working to earn coverage in local, regional, and national media outlets can help drive visitors and residents downtown. You might have a weekend travel package that a newspaper from a more urban area would be interested in covering. For instance, The Washington … More Getting Main Street communities in the news

Bright ideas for business

What is a good business proposition?  That is a tough question to answer.  I am sure that many people thought that two old hippies were crazy when they started an ice cream company in Vermont, where summers last only a few months and the temperature can drop to near freezing in August.  But those that saw promise … More Bright ideas for business

New approaches to business incubation

Business incubators can provide start-up enterprises with professional space for reasonable rents – but they can play a much larger role as well. They can connect new entrepreneurs to the technical assistance and training that will provide them with a running start.  In addition, business incubators can provide a network of entrepreneurially minded cohorts in close proximity to foster the type … More New approaches to business incubation