In July 2020, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) began working to provide comprehensive capacity building services through the federal Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) to six recipient organizations located in rural and/or economically challenged regions of Virginia.
The RCDI program seeks to increase a community’s readiness to undertake community and economic development projects through technical assistance from DHCD staff and consultants, while addressing organizational, economic and design improvements within each recipient community. The capacity building program also provides a funding opportunity to help recipients implement activities that align with the community’s strategic planning goals, which are developed and made clear through the RCDI program.
The City of Norton, one of six RCDI recipients across the state, received an RCDI grant, totaling $30,000, from DHCD to fund the creation of the Downtown Norton Signage Grant Program that will allow local businesses to apply for grant funding to purchase and install new signage and improve their visual presence downtown. Up to 12 new and/or existing small businesses are expected to bolster the visibility of their building signage.
The project will, specifically, accomplish the following:
- Offset the expense to small business owners of investing in and/or updating building signage;
- Help visitors and vehicle traffic better identify and/or locate downtown businesses;
- Increase downtown foot-traffic and overall business visitation; and
- Enhance the attractiveness and welcoming atmosphere of downtown Norton.
As this exciting project progresses, stay tuned for additional updates!
Image Credit: City of Norton
Image Credit: Get Outside in Norton