This past February, Virginia Main Street awarded seven Downtown Improvement Grants ranging from $6,000 to $25,000. The grants are intended to help local Main Street organizations implement economic restructuring strategies that will have measureable local and regional economic benefits, establish and strengthen partnerships in the community and increase the capacity and involvement of local Main Street committees and volunteers. The funded organizations included:
- Advance Abingdon, which will improve a public park to help anchor the western end of the Main Street district and encourage private investment in this part of the district.
- Altavista on Track, which will renovate the upper stories of the building currently housing the Altavista Arts and Antiques incubator to allow for additional vendors.
- Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, which will complete façade improvements on the former McCory’s Department Store as part of a larger restoration project that will establish a Main Street “mini-mall” for small retail, food and professional tenants.
- Luray Downtown Initiative, Inc., which will complete permanent gateway improvements at the Main Street district’s most heavily-trafficked entrance.
- Marion Downtown Revitalization Association, which will launch the Virginia Main Street community’s first pop-up program by providing three new small businesses in the Main Street district with business training and grant funding to help defray start-up costs.
- Staunton Downtown Development Association, which will upgrade outdoor lighting fixtures to help better connect the thriving downtown commercial district to the “Wharf District.”
- Waynesboro Downtown Development, Inc., which will construct the Center for Coldwater Restoration demonstration hatchery and information center in the Main Street district to help develop the community’s potential as an outdoor recreation and tourism destination.
Downtown Improvement Grants are just one of the many forms of support that Virginia Main Street offers the state’s 25 designated Main Street communities.