$35,000 announced in Commercial District Affiliate grants for downtown revitalization projects in six communities ~
Richmond – Governor Ralph Northam today announced Cape Charles as the first Virginia Downtown, as part of a pilot program with Virginia Main Street (VMS) through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia Downtowns pilot program is working to better serve a wider range of Virginia communities and provide targeted organizational development support to VMS Commercial District Affiliates exploring application for VMS designation during the next available round.
“Downtown revitalization is key to creating stronger entrepreneurial ecosystems in our Main Street communities, and through the Virginia Main Street program, we are creating environments that will assist our downtowns in becoming vibrant, sustainable communities for residents, visitors and businesses,” said Governor Northam. “With the support of the municipality, Cape Charles Main Street Inc. is making impressive strides in creating an inviting downtown for all, and we are excited to pilot the new Virginia Downtowns program in this flourishing community.”
In addition to the announcement, Governor Northam announced $35,000 in grants for six communities to assist in achieving their downtown revitalization goals. The grants were awarded to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization in Arlington County, Russell County on behalf of the Dante Community Association, the city of Galax and the towns of Narrows, Glade Spring and Stanardsville.
“Through the support of Virginia Main Street, Commercial District Affiliate communities are given resources to assist with downtown revitalization and capacity building for the next steps in the Main Street designation process,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are excited to see the town of Cape Charles continue to expand its Main Street focus, and we look forward to seeing the completion of the six Commercial District Affiliate projects,” said Erik Johnston, director for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.”
Commercial District Affiliate grants are offered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development through the Virginia Main Street Program, the state’s coordinating program for Main Street America. The grants are designed to provide funding for projects or services that will assist communities or organizations in achieving their downtown revitalization goals. These grants are available to more than 80 Commercial District Affiliates that have registered with Virginia Main Street.
Virginia Main Street has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts in Virginia for more than 30 years. Today, the program is a network of 28 designated communities and more than 80 affiliate communities who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 2012, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $272 million in private investment, generated more than 3,000 net new jobs and garnered more than 406,000 volunteer hours.