Discover What’s “Wythein:” Downtown Wytheville’s Vibrant New Website

DiscoverWytheinMain Street program websites come in many shapes and sizes.  The challenge is to create a simple and fresh website that promotes the Main Street organization and local brand while showcasing the unique charm of downtown and all it has to offer.

Downtown Wytheville Inc. recently updated their online presence with a website refresh that provides an informative, enticing and interactive experience for the user.  The site offers useful tools and information to its visitors, such as an easy to navigate, interactive map with a wide variety of filters from dining and shopping, to local community resources.  It appeals to entrepreneurs looking to locate in downtown by delivering a welcoming message, business investment guide and information on incentive programs.  It showcases the Main Street program, its mission, and ways to engage in support of downtown; and with mobile devices accounting for an increasing percentage of web traffic, Downtown Wytheville’s website can attractively acclimate to any screen resolution.

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The CRO Roadshow is coming to a location near you!

road-tripThis fall, the DHCD Community Revitalization Office is traveling throughout the state to highlight community development and capacity building programs and grants. Whether you are looking to revitalize a derelict and blighted building in your community or are interested in using the Main Street approach to community revitalization, we will introduce you to our services and programs and prepare you for the upcoming grant cycle.

Attendees will learn about the following programs.

  • Virginia Main Street
  • Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF)
  • Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE)
  • Community Business Launch (CBL)
  • Virginia Individual Development Accounts (VIDA)

Community Revitalization Office staff will provide an overview of each program and discuss successful and unique projects throughout Virginia. Staff will also be available to talk individually with attendees about potential projects or programs in their communities.

We will be in Front Royal on October 27th, Warsaw on November 7th and Pulaski on November 10th. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information or to register for this event, click here.

Virginia Main Street Regional Rev Up: Advancing Main Street Momentum with Good Data

On November 1, 3, and 4 in Wytheville, Culpeper, and Farmville, the fall edition of the Regional Rev Up promises to load your downtown revitalization kit with the tools you need to develop market-based revitalization strategies.  

The business of Main Street is constantly evolving.  New challenges and opportunities are always presenting themselves. If we know where to look, we can anticipate these changes and adapt to meet the new programmatic needs.  Market awareness as to which businesses are opening and which are closing; the jobs that are being created and the jobs that are going away; buildings undergoing development and those waiting to be redeveloped is essential to understanding who is using your downtown and where the resources are best spent.  It is imperative to know which metrics are important, how to track them and how to interpret and utilize the data.

Three regional trainings will center on how to understand market data for strategic focus and how to identify milestones to communicate forward momentum.  Join the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Dr. John Accordino with VCU’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) to:

  • Utilize the refreshed Main Street Approach and Transformation Strategies
  • Learn how to apply market knowledge to revitalization strategy development
  • Identify measurable outcomes that communicate revitalization progress
  • Explore case studies that translate to real world application

Registration is free.  Lunch will cost $15 and is only payable by cash on site at the event.  Registration for each Rev Up session closes one week prior to the event, so register now to reserve your spot!

Register now >>



Webinar: Creating Your Community Transformation Strategies – Oct. 25

On October 25, 12-1 PM, Virginia Main Street is offering a free webinar with everything you need to know about getting organized and catalyzing investment for real change.092916-webinartrnsstratimage

How do you take your downtown vision from concept to reality? The vision establishes the ultimate target toward which all Main Street efforts are directed, and it requires that major changes take place to achieve your best downtown. Hear about the refreshed Main Street Approach and how you can apply it to fine-tune your downtown revitalization efforts. This is an important event for Main Street managers, board members and local officials that could change the course of your downtown.

Learning Objectives:

  • Focus on the importance of community engagement and understanding market data
  • Discuss how to pick transformation strategies for your community
  • Explore how to measure your success
  • See transformation strategies in action through the pilot projects in other areas around the country

About the speaker:

Matt Wagner Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street Center

Matt Wagner has more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience in downtown development, entrepreneurship and tech-based economic development. At NMSC, Wagner is leading the launch of the renewed and re-imagined Four Point Approach, as well as helping the center reach new communities with this refreshed framework. Overseeing the field services team, Wagner also leads the center’s efforts to expand technical service offerings, and offer preservation-based economic revitalization services directly to communities.

Register for this event >>


Governor Announces Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that he is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University and Junior Achievement of Central Virginia to host the Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 at the VCU School of Business.

The challenge will be a weekend-long entrepreneurship boot camp for high school juniors and seniors. The weekend will culminate in a pitch competition in which Governor McAuliffe will attend and announce the winning team. The mission of the challenge is to expose high school students to entrepreneurship education and to provide students with the opportunity to develop and pitch their own ideas to a panel of judges, comprised of top Virginia business leaders and educators. Over the two days of the challenge, teams of five students will propose cutting-edge business ideas that address today’s challenges in the new Virginia economy.

“I started my first company when I was 14 years old, so I know firsthand and believe in the power of supporting the creativity and innovation of young people,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Students participating in the Challenge will learn the skills needed for success in the new Virginia economy: resilience, ingenuity and a willingness to take risks. I encourage students across Virginia to come join us in Richmond, and I look forward to hearing some outstanding proposals.”

The challenge is a product of partnerships formed through the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which Governor McAuliffe formed in August 2015 to foster and support innovation and entrepreneurship for Virginia’s young people. It is open to high school juniors and seniors from across the Commonwealth. Students can sign up individually, as a member of a team or be nominated by their school. To register for the Challenge, please visit the program’s webpage on the VCU Department of Business’ website here.

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Make the Most of Heritage Tourism in Virginia

Did you know that the cultural heritage tourist typically spends more and stays longer than other types of U.S. travelers?

Preservation Virginia is co-hosting the 31st annual Virginia Preservation Conference in Charlottesville, an event that draws 200 community leaders, developers, architects, local planning officials and others from across the Commonwealth.   Following the release of the final phase of three interrelated economic impact studies, including Virginia Main Street, this year’s theme focuses on heritage tourism and the places that make Virginia unique and appealing to visitors.160908-program-cover_bleed2

The schedule includes a keynote address by product-development consultant Cheryl Hargrove; debut of the new study of heritage tourism in Virginia; DIY historic preservation research sessions; guided tours of the restored Paramount Theater and Charlottesville’s revitalized West Main Street corridor; and a Preservation Pitch contest, a spirited competition to win $2,000 in seed money for a preservation project.

The conference takes place Sunday, October 16 and Monday, October 17 at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

Learn more >>>


Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) Innovation Day on Oct. 13 — Register Now!

InnovationThe Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be holding a Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) Innovation Day on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Lynchburg, VA. This event will provide the opportunity for business leaders to share and discuss innovative ideas in entrepreneurship development.

Several recent BEE Innovation and Implementation grant recipients will share about their BEE funded projects and how they are having an impact on their communities. The day will also allow time for participants to discuss various aspects of the BEE program. A guest speaker from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity will talk about their recent study on the topic of linking young adults to entrepreneurship and business opportunities. 

This event will allow participants to see the initiatives that communities have put in place to improve their entrepreneurial ecosystem and to get some ideas of how to replicate those initiatives in other communities and regions.

The BEE program provides grants and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and local governments that plan and implement innovative, comprehensive, strategic and sustainable business development strategies that support local and regional asset-based economic development. DHCD seeks to invest in strategies and projects that support entrepreneurs developing businesses.

Register for this event