Revitalization experts, downtown professionals and volunteers came together for two days of focused exploration of Main Street strategies at the 2009 Virginia Main Street toolkit, “Getting Strategic About Main Street.”
Participants represented more than 25 Virginia localities. Communities with the highest representation included included the host community of Winchester, Harrisonburg (four attendees), Radford (three), and Franklin (three).
The late July training began with big-picture strategy development and visioning tips from National Trust for Historic Preservation economic restructuring expert Lauren Adkins. Then the group looked at specific tools that each community can put to work. Entrepreneurial development experts from the Virginia Enterprise Initiative highlighted access to training and capital that communities can use to boost the start up of micro-enterprises. Tripp Muldrow of Arnette Muldrow and Associates gave the ins and outs of effective use of the market study. Sarah Peveler of Partners for Sacred Places made the connection between historic religious properties and vibrant downtowns.
In a special announcement, Virginia Main Street announced a new retail consultancy service for designated Main Street Communities. Working with Virginia’s Small Business Development Centers Network, the effort will include local workshops and one-on-one sessions with Main Street retailers. For more information, contact Jeff Sadler.