Downtown groups in Blackstone, Buena Vista, Clifton Forge, Danville, Marion, Radford, South Boston, Tazewell and Wytheville are among 16 statwide who have received grants through the Virginia Main Street program, according to a release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
In all, $257,000 was awarded. Here’s the list:
2023 Downtown Investment Grants
Mid Atlantic Railroad Park | $25,000
Downtown Ashland Association
This project will fund the construction of the Mid Atlantic Railroad Park, which will be a museum in the format of an outdoor walking tour through Downtown Ashland. The railroad park will feature nine train-themed exhibits and sites that will be open to the public year-round.
Façade Improvement Grant | $25,000
Downtown Blackstone Inc.
This project will fund a Façade Improvement Grant program that will serve the Blackstone Historic Business District (HBD). Anticipated outcomes include at least three facades improved, vitality in Blackstone’s HBD through cooperative actions and partnerships, as well as increased tourism in the district.
RDA 2023 GET Boosted Program | $25,000
Downtown Danville Association
This project will fund the RDA GET Boosted (Growth, Expansion and Training) program, which offers space and opportunities for businesses to collaborate and expand. The program will assist business owners in increasing both customer and sales volume, and anticipates an improved business ecosystem for the community.
Pop-Up Winter Market | $25,000
Historic Manassas Inc.
This project will fund an indoor winter market as a means of increasing new opportunities for vendors and burgeoning entrepreneurs. The market will run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, showcasing the diversity of businesses in the community and increasing foot traffic by 50% and consumer spending by 35%.
Feel that VIBE! | $25,000
Onancock Main Street
This project will fund the creation of banners with classic themes and engaging messages that can fill empty windows during renovations and transitional periods. Anticipated outcomes include increased vibrancy through public art, increased foot traffic, and increased local awareness of Onancock Main Street’s (OMS) role to support local businesses.
The Connector Alley | $25,000
Destination Downtown South Boston Inc.
This project will transform a dilapidated alley beside the John Randolph hotel into a vibrant people-oriented gathering space and a downtown connector to existing businesses and restaurants from secondary streets and parking. By introducing public art, the goal is to create an identity for the alleyway that will engage the public with aesthetics and social art practices.
Alleyway Activation | $25,000
Downtown Wytheville Inc.
This project will fund the creation of a unique one-off alleyway greenspace and pocket park in the downtown area that will provide residents and visitors with a place to gather, host events and feature local artists and mural artwork. Anticipated outcomes include increased foot traffic, promotional photo opportunities and additional space to program new activities in the downtown area.
2023 Community Vitality Grant Awards
Alley Revitalization Project 2022 | $7,000
Berryville Main Street
This project will revitalize an important alleyway which connects the Main Street of Berryville to a frequently used parking lot and additional businesses. The revitalization efforts will include the cleaning and painting of the pavement, the addition of three park benches, removing barriers and adding aesthetic planters, with anticipated outcomes including increased foot traffic, improved accessibility and aesthetic appeal.
LOVE Sculpture | $7,000
Clifton Forge Main Street
This project will fund the installation of a LOVE Works sculpture as part of Virginia Tourism’s statewide branding effort, while educating and encouraging further exploration of the area. Anticipated outcomes include increased foot traffic, more sales in downtown businesses and restaurants, and increased social media engagement.
Town of Leesburg – Main Street Exploration 2023 | $7,000
Town of Leesburg Economic Development Department
This project will use goals and objectives set forth in the Leesburg Legacy Comprehensive Plan to explore stakeholder appetite for a Main Street Program. Anticipated outcomes include a better understanding of the expectations from stakeholder and public engagement regarding Main Street in Leesburg, and suggested methodology to managing the development of a dedicated Main Street organization.
LFF Strategic Market Analysis | $7,000
Louisa Forward Foundation
This project will fund the hiring of a professional consultant from Main Street America to provide the town with a Strategic Market Report. This report will allow the Foundation to better define its Main Street area and develop a data-driven strategic plan and framework, drawing residents and visitors to the downtown area and increasing local vitality.
East Main Street Gateway Murals 2022 | $7,000
City of Radford
This project will fund the creation and/or repair of murals in the East Main Downtown district, including wall prep, design solicitation and selection, painting and maintenance that would enhance the beautification of the East Main area. Anticipated outcomes include the development of a strong sense of place and the attraction of tourists and residents into the downtown area.
Toano H.S. Capacity – Organization Development 2021 | $7,000
Toano Historical Society
This project will fund the hiring of a change management professional who specializes in nonprofit capacity building to create a plan to strengthen and grow the Toano Historical Society into an organization that is better prepared to lead the community’s revitalization efforts. Anticipated outcomes include new volunteers, community participation, and an established Organization Committee with a blueprint for managing the requirements of a Main Street program.
Main Street Buena Vista Downtown Placemaking 2022 | $5,000
City of Buena Vista
This project will fund the installation of ADA-compliant benches downtown, as well as the installation of planters in the downtown district. Project efforts will include diverse community participation and stakeholder engagement, with expected outcomes including improved accessibility and an increase in foot traffic.
2023 Financial Feasiility Grant Awards
Financial Feasibility Grant | $25,000
Tazewell Today, Inc.
This project will fund the feasibility study for the Tazewell Today, Inc. lot that was consumed in a fire in 2012 and has since remained vacant. This project will involve the hiring of a consultant as well as determining best use for the space.
Past Time Antique Burnout Feasibility Study | $10,000
This project will fund the securing of a qualified firm to conduct a structural assessment, construction concepts/estimates, and identification of potential funding sources to repurpose a building deemed unsalvageable after a fire in 2021.