Virginia Main Street Essentials Highlight: Economic Vitality

There is strong evidence that a locality’s economic health connects directly to its physical beauty, opportunities for socializing and openness to all people. Where can you start to make a difference for your community’s best future? Start downtown!

The Main Street Approach™ offers a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that you can tailor to local conditions. To explore how to utilize the Main Street Approach for impacts and outcomes, start with the essentials, the Virginia Main Street Essentials series.

Economic Vitality focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.

Highlight: Work with property owners and partners to promote the strategic use of space and development. Donavan Rypkema, of PlaceEconomics, puts the value of our historic buildings in understandable economic terms. Consider the cost of an empty storefront to the municipality and local economy, which is the estimated lost economic activity of a building sitting empty for one year, including lost sales, lost sales tax revenue, lost rents, lost employee payroll, and lost building and business loan demands to local banks. The study and estimate of lost economic activity demonstrates that it’s in everyone’s interest to maximize real estate and promote strategic development.