Guest Blogger: Jennifer Heyns on Warrenton’s Emerging Latitudes

When people shop locally, they know they are helping to support their community and the shop owners who live there. At Warrenton’s Latitudes Fair Trade, shoppers know they are supporting not only a local business, but also artisans from developing countries around the world. Latitudes buys handcrafted items from overseas either directly or through a … More Guest Blogger: Jennifer Heyns on Warrenton’s Emerging Latitudes

Be a Culpeper Local

Culpeper, Virginia just received some good press after it unleashed its new shop local campaign, Be a Culpeper Local.  The campaign combines educating the nearly 50,000 Culpeper County residents on the value of buying locally with a website, beaculpeperlocal.com that directs visitors to local shopping and dining options, specials, and a way to track how much … More Be a Culpeper Local

The unexpected entrepreneur

If you were asked to describe an entrepreneur, what words would you use?  Maybe terms like “bright, energetic, or magnetic.”  This 2004 article in the aptly named magazine Entrepreneur, gives a whole host of other terms, not all of them complimentary.  Two descriptions of an entrepreneur that most people would not use are “ex-felon,” and … More The unexpected entrepreneur

Staunton’s strategic arts investment and the power of community

Just as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival anchors a comprehensive and lively arts scene in the City of Ashland, Oregon, the American Shakespeare Center has sparked greater investment in the performing arts as an economic tool in the Shenandoah Valley community of Staunton. Soon, in addition to menu of Shakespeare at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse, community leaders hope to offer visitors contemporary … More Staunton’s strategic arts investment and the power of community

Guest Blogger: Orange’s Jeff Curtis on rallying Main Street around customer service training

We’re turning over the space today to Jeff Curtis, director of the Orange Downtown Alliance for some tips on rallying downtown merchants for an effective training.  One of the recurring issues addressed in our Business Development Committee meetings has been customer service, or more specifically, the lack of it.  It’s an important issue for any community, and especially … More Guest Blogger: Orange’s Jeff Curtis on rallying Main Street around customer service training

The Art of Downtown: Revitalization with an arts and culture approach

Download the Fall 2009 Main Street Monitor for a look at revitalization efforts centered on arts and cultural assets around the commonwealth.  The Art of Downtown: Revitalization with an arts and cultural approach features include 10 tips for building on your community’s cultural assets 7 best practices for implementing a mural program 3 elephants, a … More The Art of Downtown: Revitalization with an arts and culture approach