September 2020
2020 Main Street Idea Pitch:
Last year, Kathy Stewart, Executive Director of St. Paul Tomorrow, won the 2019 Main Street Idea Pitch, receiving $5,000 to help create two wall murals and three painted water inlets.
The 2020 Main Street Idea Pitch competition will be held virtually on Nov. 17, 2020! The competition is geared towards stimulating the Virginia Main Street (VMS) network of communities and professionals to craft imaginative and impactful Main Street project ideas. The winning project will be awarded $5,000 to help ensure its successful completion!

VMS Designated and Affiliate communities are eligible to apply and present projects that support any of the four key areas of the time-tested Main Street Approach. The competition also serves as a chance to support COVID-19 recovery efforts in your downtown, such as micro-marketing grants, district advertising campaigns, expanding outdoor dining and more! If able, we highly encourage communities to apply for the opportunity to present a project at the 3rd Annual Main Street Idea Pitch!
CRO Roadshow:
September 22, 2020 | 11 a.m.-Noon
This year, join us as we take a virtual trip around Virginia, visiting some of the outstanding projects backed by DHCD's Community Revitalization Office programs! This webinar will focus on the specific programs and grants that we offer, giving us a chance to discuss specific grant details and explore great examples along the way!
Virginia Main Street (VMS) Regional Rev Up Training:
Downtown Business Resiliency: Pivoting with Small-Scale Production Post COVID-19
October 20, 2020 | 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a convergence of trends that will have lasting impacts on downtown's business mix and opportunities to address vacancies. At the intersection of those trends lay anticipated changes in the use and function of our downtowns.

Small-scale manufacturing will accelerate as a powerful opportunity to cultivate increases in entrepreneurship; consumer desire to counter convenience with experience and uniqueness; and changes in downtown occupancy from displaced restaurants and office users.

Join us for this interactive, virtual event to explore trends in small-scale production and how to cultivate this business segment!
Intro to Creative Placemaking
Creative placemaking is sustained collaboration among people of diverse professional and personal backgrounds who enhance the places they live, work and play through art and creative processes.

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking has announced the Intro to Creative Placemaking webinar series for community leaders who want to lead their communities through healing and recovery for increased resilience. Register today!
VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage Grant
Recently, the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) announced that applications are open for the new VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage Grant with a maximum funding award of $20,000!

Understandably, the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impacts on the Virginia tourism and hospitality industries, and that's why VTC has sought to help businesses and/or organizations utilize needed grant funds to strategically re-enter the marketplace, spurring economic activity and travel across Virginia!
2020 Downtown Intersections Virtual Conference
Session Recordings
If you missed 2020 Downtown Intersections, you're in luck! Given that the conference was held virtually, all sessions were recorded, and session handouts are also available for viewing. You can find these resources and other presentations on the VMS website under the Training Resources tab. Check them out!
Merit Award Videos
During 2020 Downtown Intersections, DHCD announced VMS Merit Award winners. The awards were given to seven winners in five areas of merit, celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts. If you want to learn more, all award videos are available on the VMS website for viewing. Check them out!
Download the conference workbook to learn more about sessions, speakers and more!
From the Virginia Main Street Blog:
Ashland Theatre Offering Drive-In Movies
In 2015, DHCD awarded the town of Ashland an Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) grant, totaling $500,000, for the renovation of the historic Ashland Theatre. Today, the completed project has resulted in a beautiful entertainment venue that has, like most others, been unable to open during the ongoing pandemic. But, the community has rallied around the restored theatre, enjoying drive-in movie experiences created by the Ashland Theatre Foundation. With spots for 26 cars, tickets that can be purchased ahead of time online and classics like Dirty Dancing and Jaws on the big screen, the "Ashland Theatre After Dark" means family-fun for everyone! Visit their website for more details!
Danville, VA Named 2020 All-America City
Recently, the city of Danville was awarded the prestigious 2020 All-America City designation by the National Civic League (NCL)! Annually, the award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. This year, the award spotlighted civic engagement practices that advance health and well-being in local communities. Click here to learn more! Congrats, Danville!
Click here to check out more posts from the Virginia Main Street blog!
Looking for information to help businesses, localities, nonprofit organizations and others? View the COVID-19 Resources page on the Virginia Main Street (VMS) blog, and check out resources that specifically address small business recovery and relief efforts on DHCD's website!