Resurgence in Richmond’s Arts District

The COVID-19 pandemic placed an overwhelming strain on small businesses and for minority-owned businesses, that already face a number of barriers to resources, the need for support has been all the more pressing. Knowing the challenges Black and Brown business owners face in surviving the pandemic, the Metropolitan Business League (MBL) applied for a Virginia … More Resurgence in Richmond’s Arts District

The Heart at Work: Looking Back on What We Learned Through the Finding Main Street Series

In 2018, Virginia Main Street (VMS) crossed the state, exploring communities through the lens of songwriter and author Dar Williams’ What I Found in a Thousand Towns. In the resulting Finding Main Street series, staff interviewed downtown champions on issues that engaged them and challenges that excited them. In the heart of the community, VMS … More The Heart at Work: Looking Back on What We Learned Through the Finding Main Street Series

Blackstone Welcomes New Boutique Hotel

The historic Blackstone College for Girls, which was attended by Bea Arthur, and former Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) property in Blackstone, Virginia has been transformed into a chic, modern-industrial boutique hotel with 100+ rooms and plenty of amenities for local residents and guests to enjoy! What used to be a private, religious school … More Blackstone Welcomes New Boutique Hotel

Celebrating Black History Through Innovative Homeownership Opportunities

It’s Black History Month! As a housing agency, it’s a great time to reflect on innovative ways to increase Black homeownership in Virginia. In 2022, White households had a homeownership rate of 75%, while Black households had a homeownership rate of 45% (PewTrusts 10/2022). Let’s start by examining factors that contribute to the gap in … More Celebrating Black History Through Innovative Homeownership Opportunities

Fostering Small-Scale Development in Hopewell

Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP) has paved a path for real estate (re)development projects in Hopewell by educating a cohort of small-scale developers in and around the downtown historic district. The initiative started big picture with an open lecture and seminar that engaged nearly 200 participants from Hopewell and the region and introduced the incremental approach … More Fostering Small-Scale Development in Hopewell

Reflection & Opportunity: Broad-based Community Commitment to Revitalization

Virginia Main Street (VMS) launched a new training series recently 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. It is based on best practices for successful Main Street programs and sets a path for growth and development for … More Reflection & Opportunity: Broad-based Community Commitment to Revitalization

The Magic of the Match: Planning Your Community Business Launch

This blog post follows up on Steps to Community Business Launch from January 23, 2023. A key component of the Community Business Launch (CBL) application is the local match. As previously noted, this match can and should be more than just cash. Here are a few of the most impactful types of in-kind match: Free … More The Magic of the Match: Planning Your Community Business Launch

In Case You Missed It: January 2023 Digest

During the month of January, 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: Grant Project Examples: Grant Advice: Team Building: Upcoming Events: Stay tuned for lots more great content in February!

Incentivizing Building Improvements in South Hill

The Town of South Hill offers a variety of business incentives to foster an attractive climate for local businesses and spur economic growth. Two of these incentive programs—the Façade Improvement Program and the Building Up-Fit Grant—recently received additional support from a $50,000 Virginia Statewide Business District Resurgence Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and … More Incentivizing Building Improvements in South Hill