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Virginia Main Street announces award winners

Photo Credit: FrankRamspott

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced recently the Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners at the 2019 Downtown Intersections in Lynchburg.

The awards were given in eight merit areas celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts and a $5,000 prize was offered for the winner of the second annual Main Street Idea Pitch Competition.

“Our Main Street communities continue to build vibrant and thriving downtowns for all to live, work and do business. Whether it be revitalizing a downtown, fostering a new small business or developing new programs and events to bring the community together, our Main Streets are improving the quality of life in Virginia’s communities and driving the economy forward,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “In 2018 alone, the Main Street communities generated more than $172 million in private investment, a 60 percent increase from the year before, and created a net gain of 902 jobs. We celebrate the success and hard work of all Virginia Main Street communities.”

The VMS program, managed by the DHCD, provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns. Currently, the VMS program has 26 designated communities and more than 90 Commercial District Affiliates.

2019 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards

Best Downtown Public Improvement Project
Downtown Wytheville for the Downtown Wytheville Streetscape Project

Best Adaptive Reuse Project
Guncotton Coffee and Gallery in the city of Hopewell

Best Historic Rehabilitation Project
Academy of Music Theatre in the city of Lynchburg

Outstanding Business
Southern Frills in the town of South Boston

Outstanding Fundraising Effort
Fredericksburg VA Main Street Inc. for a Downtown Affair

Best Downtown Business Promotion
Downtown Blackstone Inc. for Holiday Open House

Best Innovation Award
River City Association and the city of Danville for White Mill 3D Prospect Video

Volunteer of the Year
Bill Gatewood with Ashland Main Street Association

Main Street Pitch Idea winner
St. Paul Tomorrow

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, visit

augusta free press
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