State grants will support COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, downtown revitalization

Virginia covid-19

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Gov. Ralph Northam today announced that 18 communities across the Commonwealth will receive $278,000 in Virginia Main Street grants to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts as part of Virginia’s COVID-19 economic recovery strategy.

Nine Downtown Investment Grants were awarded to the Designated Main Street towns of Culpeper, Luray, South Boston, St. Paul, and Wytheville, and the cities of Danville, Franklin, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg.

Nine Commercial District Affiliate grants were awarded to the towns of Bedford, Cape Charles, Colonial Beach, Honaker, Onancock, and Tazewell, and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Martinsville.

“Downtown districts are the lifeblood of our communities and our local economies, and they need our support now more than ever,” said Northam. “Main Street communities across the Commonwealth have been greatly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and these grants will provide critical assistance to help small businesses stay afloat and advance Virginia’s economic recovery.”

Virginia Main Street grants are administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development and help to reenergize development of downtown communities, while utilizing their cultural assets and character. Funding can go toward implementing innovative strategies, plans and programs, capacity building, or design projects that help stimulate increased private investment. This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of local civic and business leaders who are working to bring their Main Street communities back to life.

The Virginia Main Street program is comprised of 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates throughout Virginia.

“In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $413 million in private investment across Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Encouraging private investment and economic growth is the key to building vibrant communities across the Commonwealth during this pandemic and beyond.”

The Downtown Investment Grants can be used for design and economic vitality projects in historic downtown neighborhoods located in designated Virginia Main Street communities. The Commercial District Affiliate grants go toward projects in historic commercial neighborhoods located in more than 90 Virginia Main Street affiliate communities. Projects include downtown revitalization, market studies, downtown marketing campaigns, wayfinding signage, streetscape improvements, and town murals.

Several projects will support COVID-19 recovery efforts in the towns of Culpeper, South Boston, and St. Paul, as well as the cities of Covington, and Martinsville. Recovery projects include micro-marketing grants, advertising campaigns, promotional videos, support services, education, training, and low-interest loans for small businesses.

The following localities or organizations have been awarded $25,000 in Virginia Main Street Downtown Investment Grants:

  • Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. | Culpeper Downtown Revitalization Campaign
  • Destination Downtown South Boston | Small Business Recovery After COVID-19
  • Downtown Danville Association | Bricks and Clicks – Danville
  • Downtown Franklin Association | O.S. – Sustain Our (Main) Street
  • Downtown Lynchburg Association | Downtown Lynchburg Market Study and Positioning Plan
  • Downtown Wytheville, Inc. | Downtown Wytheville Small Business Celebration
  • Fredericksburg VA Main Street, Inc. | Downtown Fredericksburg Streetscape Improvements
  • Luray Downtown Initiative | Get Out of Your Car in Luray
  • Paul Tomorrow, Inc. | St. Paul’s Got You Covered

The following localities or organizations have been awarded $7,000 in Virginia Main Street Commercial District Affiliate Grants:

  • Town of Bedford | Town of Bedford Upper-Level Access Project
  • City of Buena Vista | Town Square Mural
  • Cape Charles Main Street, Inc. | Cape Charles Main Street Microsite
  • Downtown Colonial Beach, Inc. | Colonial Beach Design and Marketing Project
  • Town of Honaker | Honaker Downtown Street Lamp Project
  • Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth | Uptown Marketing
  • Olde Town Covington | Covington Downtown Historic District Way Finding and Beautification
  • Onancock Main Street Initiative | Onancock Branding Architecture
  • Town of Tazewell | Main Street Mini Park

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