Governor Northam Announces $172,000 in Virginia Main Street Grants

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Total list of grants (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Ralph Northam). Total list of grants (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Ralph Northam).

Press Release from the Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam:

RICHMOND—Governor Northam announced on Thursday that $172,000 in Virginia Main Street grants, including $132,000 awarded for seven projects in the towns of Abingdon and South Boston, and the cities of Bristol, Danville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg and Winchester.

“Vibrant downtown neighborhoods are important to help our cities and towns attract new businesses, invite tourism and grow the Virginia economy,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia Main Street grants support efforts to revitalize downtown buildings, spark new economic development and drive more private investment to these areas.”

The Downtown Investment Grants (DIGs), administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), are for design and economic vitality projects targeting areas of specific need in historic downtown neighborhoods located in designated Virginia Main Street communities. These grants are available to designated Main Street organizations to accelerate the economic revitalization of their downtown districts by helping implement innovative strategies, plans and programs that create an environment for increased private investment. 

To provide technical assistance and training certification, additional designated Virginia Main Street communities received funding, including the city of Franklin for consultant services to assist with vision and branding in FY 2019 and the city of Hopewell for National Main Street certification training.

“In the last five years, designated Virginia Main Street communities have generated more than $272 million in private investment in their downtown districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Virginia Main Street program has been revitalizing our downtown communities for more than 33 years, and through these grants, we are continuing that hard work to create inviting downtowns to live, work and visit.”

In addition to the seven Downtown Investment Grants for the designated Virginia Main Street communities, six grants totaling $35,000 were given to Virginia Main Street Commercial District Affiliate 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.

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.

In 1985, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development adopted the Main Street program for Virginia to help prevent downtown districts across the Commonwealth from economic decline. This unique program works to re-energize economic development of downtown communities while utilizing their cultural assets and character. This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of their local civic and business leaders who are determined to bring their Main Street communities back to life. The innovative Main Street Approach uses design, promotion, economic vitality and organization to help localities build better communities. The Virginia Main Street program is comprised of 28 designated communities, one Virginia Downtown and more than 80 Commercial District Affiliates throughout Virginia.