Webinar – Business Booster: Recruitment and Retention Tactics for a Vibrant Downtown

On October 2, 12 – 1 p.m., Virginia Main Street is offering a free webinar focused on encouraging business growth in your downtown and helping existing businesses keep their doors open.  

One of the of the primary responsibilities of a Main Street program is to boost the economic growth of the business district.  With the rise of online shopping and convenient apps, where do you put the attention and resources to make downtown the first choice for shopping and dining?  As competition increases to capture spending, it is critical that your program understand its competitive advantages and develop targeted strategies for a sustainable retail base in downtown.

Check out this free webinar to help your Main Street program move from identifying unique market opportunities to developing resources and tools that form the foundation for growing existing businesses and attraction new ones to your commercial district.

About the speaker:

Matt Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street Center

Matt Wagner has more than 20 years of non-profit management experience in downtown development, entrepreneurship, and tech-based development.  At the National Main Street Center, Matt is leading the launch of the renewed and re-imagined Four Point Approach, as well as helping the Center reach new communities with this refreshed framework.  Overseeing the Field Services team, Matt also leads the Center’s efforts to expand technical service offerings, and offer preservation-based economic revitalization services directly to communities.

Register now for this event >>


Farmville Shopping - Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation

Farmville Shopping – Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation

Greening Your Downtown

On November 3 and 4, the Virginia Downtown Development Association (VDDA) hosted their annual conference, this year focusing on sustainability in a traditional downtown environment. The conference was held in Charlottesville, where the 40 participants were able to witness first-hand the benefits of employing “green” development strategies.

Charlottesville is committed to having a green downtown by 2025. At the conference, the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) presented several strategies that Charlottesville is employing to make its vision of a sustainable downtown a reality. For example, the innovative City Hall and Police Building Green Rooftop Project, in which conventional rooftops are replaced with large gardens, has been highly successful in reducing stormwater runoff and pollution while also reducing cooling costs in the summer.

How is your community “going green?”

Visit the Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Virginia website to learn about strategies incorporated in the Green government challenge.

Designated VMS communities are also encouraged to fill out the National Trust Main Street Sustainability Survey by November 17 to help shape national strategies and  for a chance to win a flip video camera.

The new normal

Before you get too excited about the coming recovery, have you heard about the “new normal?” 

The “new normal” is the term that many have been using for economic growth that is slower than what we became accustomed to over the past decade or so.  Doug Dachille, of First Principles Capital Management, says in this clip from CNBC that the “new normal” is really the “old normal.”  His position is that the economy really only grows in great bounds when technology increases productivity in a dramatic fashion.  That happened in the 1990’s, and the growth in the 2000’s was not based on “real growth” but by financial machinations, according to Dachille.  In statistical terms this is called “regression to the mean,” but in layman’s terms we can just call it average. 

The video is informational throughout, but the pertinant part starts at about 3:30 and runs about two and half minutes.