Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map

Maps make sense of the world around us.  They are both descriptive  (think of the elevated ridgelines of topographic maps) and prescriptive (the Google maps navigator telling you how to get from here to there).  And they don’t always match reality.  As this Slate slideshow of strange maps demonstrates, maps may not fit so much into neat categories of right … More Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map

Staunton’s strategic arts investment and the power of community

Just as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival anchors a comprehensive and lively arts scene in the City of Ashland, Oregon, the American Shakespeare Center has sparked greater investment in the performing arts as an economic tool in the Shenandoah Valley community of Staunton. Soon, in addition to menu of Shakespeare at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse, community leaders hope to offer visitors contemporary … More Staunton’s strategic arts investment and the power of community

Blackstone holiday events keep local elves busy

Downtown Blackstone, Inc. (DBI) has been full of activity this holiday season, successfully coordinating retail promotions and image building events. The Second Annual Downtown Holiday Open House kicked off the season November 27. Following the Grand Illumination in the town park, DBi drew crowds into downtown by coordinating activities with the local merchants, such as carriage rides, choral … More Blackstone holiday events keep local elves busy

Video: Culpeper’s thriving foodshed

Downtown Culpeper’s focus on farm fresh food through the farmer’s market, destination restaurants, and special food themed events has contributed to the revitalization of the historic community.  Watch “Meet the Farmer” host Michael Clark talk with community leaders involved in the new vitality of Culpeper.  The segment features Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. in a success story that builds on the … More Video: Culpeper’s thriving foodshed

Guest Blogger: Orange’s Jeff Curtis on rallying Main Street around customer service training

We’re turning over the space today to Jeff Curtis, director of the Orange Downtown Alliance for some tips on rallying downtown merchants for an effective training.  One of the recurring issues addressed in our Business Development Committee meetings has been customer service, or more specifically, the lack of it.  It’s an important issue for any community, and especially … More Guest Blogger: Orange’s Jeff Curtis on rallying Main Street around customer service training

Video: VMS Intern Margaret Barre’s downtown revitalization effort featured in news

As part of a downtown commercial revitalization course at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Main Street intern Margaret Barre and her colleagues have developed a revitalization strategy for the community of Ashland.  The real-world case study ended in a presentation to the Town Council.  Watch the NBC-12 news video to learn more about the student’s strategic … More Video: VMS Intern Margaret Barre’s downtown revitalization effort featured in news

The new normal

Before you get too excited about the coming recovery, have you heard about the “new normal?”  The “new normal” is the term that many have been using for economic growth that is slower than what we became accustomed to over the past decade or so.  Doug Dachille, of First Principles Capital Management, says in this clip … More The new normal