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Downtown Harrisonburg Wins Awards for Private Investment, Volunteer Hours

On Friday, March 20, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance was presented with two Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards for $15 million in private investment and 45,000 volunteer hours contributed toward downtown revitalization.

The award was presented at the annual Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards ceremony, this year held at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va.

The Honorable Patrick O. Gottschalk, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia, addressed the attendees of the luncheon, which acknowledged the achievements of Main Street volunteers, local leaders, businesses, local governments and private investors.

“Through the revitalization of Virginia’s downtowns, jobs are created, and the quality of life for those in the community is enhanced,” said Gottschalk.

Other speakers at the event included Bob Adams, respected community revitalization practitioner and president of HDAdvisors. Speaking on the importance of positioning now for the economic recovery, Adams said, “A recessionary period is a good time for self assessment, planning, and collaboration. Towns should participate as part of a regional strategy and organizations should find ways to share marketing and operations costs.”

Bill Shelton, Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, took part in the awards presentation and praised the collaborative energy demonstrated by communities that effectively carry out Virginia’s Main Street programs.
HDR’s founding Executive Director, Eddie Bumbaugh, remarked on the organization’s successes, “The recognition from Virginia Main Street to the City of Harrisonburg and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance for the significant amount of volunteer hours, as well as the amount of private investment in property renovation is a tribute to our community’s commitment to downtown revitalization.”

Currently there are 21 designated Virginia Main Street communities: Abingdon, Altavista, Bedford, Blackstone, Berryville, Culpeper, Franklin, Harrisonburg, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Radford, Rocky Mount, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Waynesboro, and Winchester.

The Virginia Main Street program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, 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.

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit their Web page at: www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.

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