Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Uptown Entrepreneurial Development Manager Reflects on 2021 Main Street Now Conference Experience

Our guest blogger, Kimberly Keller, serves as the Uptown Entrepreneurial Development Manager for the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth. When not walking the sidewalks of Uptown Martinsville or working in the office, she can be found exploring other communities, farmers’ markets or simply enjoying the outdoors!

The 2021 Main Street Now Conference was fantastic, and our organization was grateful to have received a scholarship from Virginia Main Street (VMS) to attend the annual event. While held virtually, the conference was very impactful, and I loved how Main Street America (MSA) was able to still incorporate various session styles. Few technological concerns were involved – great work on that aspect alone!

There were so many great sessions to choose from, and that was certainly a dilemma! Many of the conference sessions were geared toward COVID-19 recovery, which was extremely helpful as we are all trying to navigate through the pandemic. While many sessions were geared toward the pandemic, there was still plenty of content that was applicable to other areas, focusing not only on the recovery of businesses and communities throughout the nation but also on long-term goals of most revitalization organizations.

While I was already looking forward to the 2022 conference, I am even more excited after learning the event will be held in Richmond, Virginia, and hopefully in-person! I have attended VMS training before, but this was my first time attending a national Main Street conference. If 2021 was great virtually, I have high hopes for the in-person event next year where I’m certain a lot knowledge and connections will be shared / made. We have a lot to look forward to and a lot to gain!