With the announcement that Cape Charles has become the first Virginia Downtown in the Main Street Program, what that really means for the town is still unclear. The Mirror contacted Councilwoman Tammy Holloway, who also serves on the board for our Main Street initiative, and asked just what it means to be designated a ‘downtown’.
Holloway: The best way I can describe Virginia Downtown is that it is the intermediary step between being an affiliate and a fully designated Main Street community. As an affiliate, you can get some resources from the VA Main Street and National Main Street and support from their staff, and for example new this year, you can apply for “affiliate” grants, which we applied for and received toward our Branding project. But between being an affiliate and fully designated community there where few resources for communities to get to that next step.
As a Virginia Downtown, we have been provided a blueprint or roadmap toward attaining that full designation. Virginia and the National Main Street Organization will provide us with FREE services and resources to help keep us on track and to achieve the goals set forth. They will do this through resources and services.
What does this help look like? We will have access to significant free resources and services that were before only for groups that had already achieved the full Main Street designation. A few examples are a consultant that will work with CCMS organization to develop a comprehensive fund development and fundraising strategy, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem analysis & Development, to name a few. For a new 501c3 organization, who is working to build a solid foundation, these services will be invaluable to our ability to move forward.