How Communities Can Use American Rescue Plan Act Allocations to Support Small Businesses

The Institute of Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and Main Street America (MSA) will hold a webinar on February 10, 2022 from 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. to discuss how communities can use a portion of their federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations to support small business growth and development. Undeniably, ARPA represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for … More How Communities Can Use American Rescue Plan Act Allocations to Support Small Businesses

Registration Now Open for the Fiscal Year 2023 Community Business Launch How-to-Apply Webinar

The Community Business Launch (CBL) program is a place-based entrepreneurial development strategy that fills a critical need or gap in the community’s market, filling a concentration of vacant storefronts or available properties with expansion or start-up ventures. Local CBL programs train entrepreneurs, creatives, and small business owners about business planning practices and generate excitement in … More Registration Now Open for the Fiscal Year 2023 Community Business Launch How-to-Apply Webinar

City of Roanoke Declares FY2023 as “Year of the Artist”

It’s no secret that the City of Roanoke, an active Exploring Main Street (EMS) community, has a vibrant arts scene that pulses with creativity! Excitingly, local officials and others want to harness the spirit of artistic inquiry and exploration that flows through the community to show that art matters, our voices can make a difference … More City of Roanoke Declares FY2023 as “Year of the Artist”

Registration Now Open for DHCD Microfinance Webinar: What are Entrepreneurial Ecosystems?

Next month, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a webinar on Thursday, February 17, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. to discuss entrepreneurial ecosystems! What does it take to have a vibrant community? People! All kinds of people. In this webinar, we are going to discuss how bringing people … More Registration Now Open for DHCD Microfinance Webinar: What are Entrepreneurial Ecosystems?

How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem

Recently, Anika Horn, Chief Social Venturer at Social Ventures, launched Ecosystems for Change, a new podcast that explores how ecosystem building can help us unleash the full potential of the makers, doers, innovators and visionaries in our communities. Last week, she featured Debbie Irwin, Executive Director of Shenandoah Community Capital Fund (SCCF), an entrepreneurial support … More How to Build Up Community Capital to Nurture Your Ecosystem

Twelve Projects in Virginia Receive Funding to Expand Capital Access for Small Businesses

Last week, before leaving office, former Governor Ralph Northam announced that more than $9.7 million in grants had been awarded for 12 projects across the Commonwealth through the Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund (VSBRF), helping organizations to create programs and products that will expand access to capital and provide technical assistance for COVID-19 impacted small … More Twelve Projects in Virginia Receive Funding to Expand Capital Access for Small Businesses

Register! Exploring Main Street Community Interchange

Excitingly, Virginia Main Street (VMS) will host an Exploring Main Street (EMS) Community Interchange on February 16, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This virtual gathering will focus on strengthening the program’s network of community leaders and boosting Main Street efficacy in EMS communities! If you’re an active EMS community, join us for next … More Register! Exploring Main Street Community Interchange

A Three-Step Process for Community Storytelling

Recently, Phil Eich, founder of Storyville Social, published a piece of great advice for those looking to create human-centered and story-based marketing content for their community to cultivate pride, support small businesses and attract and retain talent and investment. Essentially, Eich believes that worthwhile community storytelling happens when communities let people speak for themselves, minimizing … More A Three-Step Process for Community Storytelling

VMS Webinar: How-to-Apply for FY23 Grant Programs

Join us next month to learn more about Virginia Main Street (VMS) FY23 grant programs that can help breathe new life into underutilized buildings, establish and expand businesses and make your downtown a fun destination and local gathering spot! As we kick off a new year, you’re likely thinking about what projects, programs and/or services … More VMS Webinar: How-to-Apply for FY23 Grant Programs

New Year, New Goals

I know that current conventional wisdom is that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t good for you, but I just can’t help myself! New year – new planner, new calendar, new opportunities, new start. But, if it suits the reader, we change “resolutions” to “goals,” because we should all have goals! Check out how Virginia Main Street … More New Year, New Goals