Main Street on YouTube

Main Street communities use all sorts of strategies to spread the word about their downtowns. Videos require more financial resource and expertise than some other strategies, but when done well, they are great public relations tools. Many communities provide a professional tour of their downtown to showcase recent improvements and exciting new initiatives. In the … More Main Street on YouTube

Comparing Main Street Districts and Local Big Box Stores

Mapping the Commonwealth recently created a series of photos that overlay ten historic commercial districts (most of them Virginia Main Street districts) with the community’s local big box stores and parking lots. These photos are interesting for several reasons. They help illustrate why the local historic commercial district is so financially valuable to a community. … More Comparing Main Street Districts and Local Big Box Stores

Crowdfunding Main Street

In many communities, someone from out of town who is interested in starting a new business can turn to the local Main Street organization for help. The local Main Street organization can often provide square footage, rent and utility costs and introductions to owners of vacant and available storefronts. They can introduce the potential business owner to … More Crowdfunding Main Street

Virginia Main Street Awards Downtown Improvement Grants

VMS recently awarded several Downtown Improvement Grants (DIG). These grants, of up to $25,000, help designated Main Street communities tackle special, one-time Main Street-related projects that need additional financial resources to become a reality. The awarded projects have specific economic restructuring outcomes and involve multiple community partners. This year, VMS received 14 competitive applications and … More Virginia Main Street Awards Downtown Improvement Grants

Marion Completes Fifth Round of “Pop Up” Marion Boot Camp

By now, you’ve probably heard of the success Marion Downtown! has had with its small business “Pop Up” Boot Camp entrepreneur program. If you have not, you are definitely missing out on all the excitement! “Pop Up Marion” offers up to $5,000 for aspiring downtown entrepreneurs, offsetting startup expenses like rent and utilities for the first … More Marion Completes Fifth Round of “Pop Up” Marion Boot Camp

2014 Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards Announced

More than 90 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals attended the Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards Luncheon on March 19  at Richmond’s historic Hippodrome Theater. Main Street communities and organizations were recognized for achieving notable milestones in volunteer contribution, private investment and building rehabilitation. Destination Downtown South Boston received a Special Achievement Award and the Partnership … More 2014 Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards Announced

Harrisonburg is named 2014 Great American Main Street semifinalist

Congratulations to the city of Harrisonburg, which was recently named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the top 10 semifinalists for the 2014 Great American Main Street Awards (GAMSA). The semifinalists have demonstrated their ability to preserve their unique history while creating and maintaining vibrant, successful commercial districts that serve as … More Harrisonburg is named 2014 Great American Main Street semifinalist

Entire block of Bristol’s Main Street district to become boutique hotel

Over the next 18 months, an entire block of Bristol’s Main Street district will be transformed into a destination hospitality complex centered around a new 70-room luxury boutique hotel called the Sessions Hotel. The project by Creative Boutique Hotels (CBH), which includes Hal Craddock, Cornerstone Hospitality and MB Contractors, will span nearly the entire 800 … More Entire block of Bristol’s Main Street district to become boutique hotel

Downtown Harrisonburg Named Virginia’s First Culinary District

As of Jan. 28, 2014, with approval of the city council of the city of Harrisonburg, Downtown Harrisonburg has adopted the designation of a Downtown Culinary District. Harrisonburg is the first city in Virginia to receive this designation. Several factors contributed to the recognition of Harrisonburg’s Downtown Culinary District. Many large, food-related businesses, including City … More Downtown Harrisonburg Named Virginia’s First Culinary District

Major construction projects in Virginia’s Main Street districts

Designated Virginia Main Street communities have seen more than $741 millions of private investment since 1985. Private investment on Main Street ranges from the replacement of awnings or a new door to multi-million dollar rehabilitation or construction projects. In 2013, major construction projects added or will soon add new commercial, residential, educational and entertainment venues … More Major construction projects in Virginia’s Main Street districts