Winchester receives VA Main Street Milestone Award

VA Main Street AwardThe Winchester Old Town Development Board was recognized for a Virginia Main Streets Milestone Award of 35,000 volunteer hours since 1997. Of course, this would not be possible without the many, many Main Street volunteers current and past for their willingness to volunteer to make the downtown a better place. Our deepest thanks to everyone who has worked to refine and empower our community!

Read the full press release below:

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 the Old Town Development Board and the City of Winchester were presented with a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award for the dedication of over 35,000 volunteer hours to the revitalization of the downtown’s historic commercial district.

“This award represents the willingness of so many people over the years to give their time and talent to revitalizing Downtown Winchester and it is part of what makes Winchester such a special place,” stated Jennifer Bell, Downtown Manager. “Winchester has a very committed group of volunteers and is looking to recruit more volunteers for committee work and projects.”

At the Award Ceremony in Richmond, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones spoke to the audience of nearly 90 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals from around the state about the visible results of their hard work. “This year, you have been thinking outside of the box and using entrepreneurship as a keystone to successful downtown revitalization,” said Secretary Jones. “With entrepreneur development strategies like business boot camps and even an Ideaspace, you are bringing new ventures and amazing growth to your downtowns.”

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Bill Shelton said, “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $217 million in private investment in their districts.” Shelton continued, “As a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 453 jobs across the 25 Main Street downtown districts.”

The Old Town Winchester continues to look for volunteers to serve as downtown ambassadors during Apple Blossom and to serve on the Old Town Development Board’s Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring Committees. Volunteers are also needed to help with downtown events starting with Kidz Fest on May 17th.

Currently, there are 25 designated Virginia Main Street communities: Abingdon, Altavista, Ashland, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Farmville, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Saint Paul, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

“To be a financially sound City providing top quality municipal services while focusing on the customer and engaging our community.”

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 www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.

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