In Case You Missed It: March 2023 Digest

During the month of March, the Virginia Main Street (VMS) team published eight blog posts, highlighting the latest community vitality-related news, events and more! Here’s a recap:

VMS Community News:

  • In February, local Main Street directors from across the state gathered in Wytheville, Virginia for the 2023 VMS Director’s Retreat. Hosted by Downtown Wytheville, Inc. (DWI), the event offered three days of learning, networking and energizing camaraderie. Click here to learn more!

Transformation Strategies:

  • Transformation Strategies are an integral part of the Main Street Approach and unique to each downtown district. They highlight a downtown product and/or service and target consumer base to draw from / market to. Main Street America (MSA) offers a Transformation Strategies service that consists of three main parts – a community input survey, market data analysis, and community input forums attended by property owners, developers, business owners, elected officials, local municipal employees, and other key stakeholders. Click here to learn more and check out how Fredericksburg Virginia Main Street (FVMS) utilized this service to aid their strategic planning efforts.

Volunteer Recruitment and Retention:

  • At the heart of Main Street are the people who make it happen! Volunteers are a vital part of a Main Street organization as they offer essential insight, credibility, and capacity. However, finding great volunteers and keeping them on board can be a challenge. Click here to learn more practical strategies to recruit and retain volunteers.

Community Vision Planning:

  • As the City of Danville works to develop its comprehensive plan, local leaders have opened / activated a storefront space that will be a central hub of engagement and capture the thoughts and inspirations of all residents, business owners and visitors so that Danville can build a bright future together. Click here to learn more about this great community vision planning example!

Community Business Launch:

  • Has your community considered applying for a Community Business Launch (CBL) grant in the past but needed more funding to make a real impact in your commercial district? Well, you’re in luck! This year, CBL applicants can apply for up to $100,000 to complete a place-based entrepreneurial development strategy to fill a critical mass of vacant storefronts with expansion or start-up ventures. Click here to learn more!


Training Resources:

  • Recently, the Virginia Main Street (VMS) program hosted the second webinar in its new training series that prepares Main Street community champions for the “switch to six,” illuminating the new Main Street America Evaluation Framework through stories from across the network. Addressing Standard 2 of the framework, Inclusive Leadership and Organizational Capacity, speaker Dionne Baux, Main Street America Vice President of Urban Development, focused on how Main Street programs can become proactive and effective agents for inclusive community engagement and leadership development, ensuring that the investment of time and talents is a rewarding experience. Click here to watch the recording!

Stay tuned for lots more great content in April!

Photo Credit: Taft