The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, represents a unique opportunity for localities across the nation to address community-driven priorities, and advocates of Main Street revitalization, ranging from local changemakers to national organizations, are seeking to make the case as to why funding that’s guaranteed to municipalities should go towards … More Making the Case for How Your Main Street Can Be Supported by the American Rescue Plan Act
As a 2021 Community Business Launch (CBL) grantee, Downtown Blackstone, Inc. (DBI), hosted its business launch pitch night on July 7, 2021, and eight entrepreneurs pitched their start up business / expansion ideas to a panel of expert judges. Five prize winners were named the following week! A prize pool, totaling $46,000 in cash awards, … More Blackstone Business Launch Kickstarts New Wave of Entrepreneurship Downtown
Our guest blogger, Rebecca Rowe (left), has more than 20 years of experience in community revitalization, working with state and local governments and nonprofits. Currently, she serves as the Associate Director for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s ( DHCD) Community Revitalization Office (CRO), working to ensure the vitality of localities across the … More I Scream, You Scream – We all Celebrate National Ice Cream Month on Main Street!
Educational Webinar In July, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) welcomed Kevin Byrd (left), Executive Director at New River Valley Regional Commission, to discuss changes in traditional services and infrastructure, emerging trends and methods to implement new approaches that help ensure services and infrastructure are not only maintained but also receive routine … More CCV Series: July 2021 Recap and Additional Resources
Recently, local Main Street America (MSA) member programs had the opportunity to apply to take over MSA’s Instagram, showcasing their community, revitalization efforts and small businesses via the national channel. Excitingly, one of Virginia’s designated programs, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR), was the first member program to kick off the first-ever MSA Instagram Takeover! Leading the … More Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Takes Over Main Street America’s Instagram!
On July 28, 2021, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a U.S. non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI), will host a free workshop from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. to help Business Development Organizations (BDO) think strategically about development goals and practices. The BDO Network Assembly will build upon recent LISC efforts to support and assist … More Free LISC Workshop to Help Organizations Think Strategically About Development Goals & Practices
On May 27, 2021, The Advancement Foundation (TAF) celebrated the graduation of 56 new businesses through its 7th annual Gauntlet program and made awards, totaling $300,000 in cash and in-kind services, to kick-start those business ventures. This included four of the participants from Buena Vista’s Community Business Launch (CBL) program, which partnered with TAF on … More Entrepreneurs Becoming Small-Scale Developers in Buena Vista
Our guest blogger, Ben Levenger, is an AICP planner, registered landscape architect and Certified Economic Developer. He is the president of Downtown Redevelopment Services, LLC, a boutique planning firm specializing in assisting communities through comprehensive downtown planning and building adaptive re-use projects throughout the continental United States. He has provided services in over 30 states and continues to consult … More Activating Underutilized and Vacant Properties
Excitingly, four existing or planned downtown Norton businesses are sharing $60,000 in cash prizes after pitching their businesses to a panel of judges at the end of a five-week business plan training course. Partnering with Virginia DHCD through its Community Business Launch grant program, the 2021 Norton Business Challenge is the second such competition that … More Norton Business Challenge Announces Four Winners!
After living in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York City, our guest blogger, Jenny Gehman (left) headed to Virginia’s Eastern Shore where she now serves as Program Manager of Onancock Main Street, working to revive and preserve the small town of Onancock, VA, “A little slice of nowhere else.” When asked about why she loves … More Onancock’s Main Street Program Manager Reflects on 2021 Main Street Now Conference Experience