Virginia Main Street grants available

Henry Hotel (Uptown Martinsville)

The Virginia Main Street program has two grant opportunities available for designated communities. These applications are due by August 29, 2014. Applications must be submitted in CAMS.

Downtown Investment Grants (DIG) will help local Main Street organizations accelerate the economic revitalization of their historic commercial districts by allowing them to implement innovative strategies, plans and programs that boost and accelerate private investment on Main Street.

Downtown Investment Grants are not capped, but grant awards will not typically exceed $45,000. DIGs help Main Street organizations implement projects that:
1. Facilitate innovative means of encouraging private investment that result in measurable economic improvement in the Main Street district;
2. Directly support the community’s vision for encouraging the private investment necessary for the economic revitalization of the Main Street district;
3. Align with the Main Street organization’s mission and the board’s strategic planning goals for the Main Street district; and,
4. Develop volunteer leadership, capacity and expertise in the Main Street organization.

Financial Feasibility Grants of generally up to $25,000 are available to help Main Street organizations implement projects that:

1. Work with owners of “white elephant” buildings to identify the highest and best use of such properties;
2. Develop sufficient information to allow the owner or Main Street organization to “shop” the rehabilitation and reuse of the property to private developers and investors; and,
3. Fund development of preliminary engineering reports, preliminary architecture reports, market demand studies for an identified highest and best-use and gap-financing research.

The grant funds are not to be used for continuing operations, program administration, payroll, debts or any other operational expenses.  The funds are for use in projects directly benefiting the Virginia Main Street community, with a preference to projects involving multiple partners, and they cannot be used to cover marketing and printing costs.

All projects must provide a minimum of one-to-one leverage, in which in-kind volunteer hours can be counted. Projects must be completed no later than June 1, 2015.