Downtown Intersections — Merit Awards

Town of Strasburg Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Festival

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced July 30 the Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners during the 2020 Downtown Intersections Virtual Conference. The awards were given to seven winners in five merit areas celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts.

“Virginia’s Main Street organizations are continuing to transform our downtowns into vibrant communities through downtown revitalization, entrepreneurial support and innovative events that highlight what makes each community unique,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “These winners are shining examples of how to do community development right and are on the front lines assisting our Main Streets and their businesses through the COVID-19 recovery and reopening process.”

In 2019, Virginia Main Street communities generated more than $115.5 million in private investment, representing 523 rehabilitation projects, and created a net gain of 732 jobs.

The VMS program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns. Currently, the VMS program has 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates.

2020 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards

Best Downtown Public Improvement Project
Town of St. Paul for the Downtown Comprehensive Infrastructure Project

Best Adaptive Reuse Project
Seven Sisters Brewery in the town of Wytheville

Outstanding Business
Grizzly’s Hatchet House in the city of Danville
Lineage in the city of Harrisonburg

Best Downtown Business Promotion
Historic Manassas Inc. for the Sip and Shop
Town of Strasburg for the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Festival

Volunteer of the Year
Holly Redding for Winchester’s Old Town Advancement Commission