Uptown Martinsville’s Downtown Improvement Grant at work

Virginia Main Street’s Downtown Improvement Grant provided Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association (MURA)  an opportunity to roll out a long-planned district awareness and shop local campaign. The effort, broadly dubbed “This is Uptown,” includes a number of strategies, such as a loyalty card offering discounts with merchants across the district.

The free cards are limited to 500, 350 of which have been distributed since the February initiative kick-off.  “The cards have been a terrific tool for our board members to get out and talk about the district,” says newly hired Executive Director Laura Bowles. “And that’s what they’re for; to introduce, or re-introduce, the region’s residents to what’s available in Uptown Martinsville.”

So what’s available Uptown?  “Independently owned shops where you can get a variety of surprising, unique products sold by service-minded merchants and artisans,” says Bowles.  “There really is a lot.”

Watch videos of  Bowles promoting local shopping and the loyalty card program on two local television programs. She’s practically ready for one of the shopping networks, and her knowledge of local produts like a shopping basket by Baskets by Design and made-to-order suits at Draper and Ferrell Clothiers make it clear that she walks the talk.