Grant dollars support vibrant nightlife in Downtown Staunton

The Staunton Downtown Development Association, a Virginia Main Street organization since 1996, was awarded $20,000 Downtown Improvement grant. The formal announcement was made byGovernor Terry McAuliffe on May 31.

staunton downtown development associationIn 2016, the SDDA conducted a Community Perception Survey also funded by a Virginia Main Street Downtown Improvement grant.  The survey instrument was fine-tuned and implemented by Tripp Muldrow of Arnette Muldrow who was able to provide a summaryof the data located on StauntonDowntown.org. The data motivated the SDDA Board to create a list of the top 25 suggestions from the survey effort and they have been incorporated in the 2017-2018 Work Plan as transformation strategies, some of which are listed below:

  • Green or outside gathering spaces: parklets, pocket parks, seating, shade, trees
  • Later evening hours at stores for shopping
  • Vibrant Nightlife:  Dancing, Music that goes until after midnight, more choices.
  • Monthly event
  • Low-cost marketing for Downtown businesses

The suggestions listed above are the stimulus for the StauntoNites project described in the 2017 grant application.  The project addresses the Downtown nightlife perception.

The grant will fund:

  • Shop Staunton – First Saturday: businesses may apply for grants that support monthly events to encourage and support evening store hours, in-store experiential activities and outside entertainment to enliven the Downtown streetscape. Grants for businesses located in the Downtown Service District include funding based on the number of business and non-profit partners, education, marketing and entertainment.  Grant details and application will be forthcoming.
  • Sit Staunton – First Saturday Urban Design Competition: to encourage awareness for and development of District gathering spaces and engage local creatives.

The activities described above will be implemented in the coming months.

“We are proud to be awarded the $20,000 Downtown Improvement Grant from Virginia Main Street that will help us reach the goals supported by the Community Perception Survey data,” said Julie Markowitz, Executive Director. “The grant dollars will help us expand the Shop Staunton First brand and give us a chance to appeal to a different audience with the interactive Urban Design Competition.”


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