Four Va. localities earn Main Street designation
Cape Charles, Onancock, Tappahannock, Tazewell to revitalize downtown communities
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that the towns of Cape Charles, Onancock, Tappahannock and Tazewell have joined the Virginia Main Street Program, which, through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides services to strengthen downtown communities.
Designated towns must participate in an application process to receive services including market analysis, marketplace development, capacity building, design assistance, organization development, economic strategies and façade renderings for redevelopment projects.
The following are the newly designated communities:
- Cape Charles — Located on the Chesapeake Bay in Northampton County near the southern tip of the Eastern Shore
- Onancock — Located in the middle of the Eastern Shore between Cape Charles and Chincoteague in Accomack County
- Tappahannock — Seaport on the Rappahannock River in Essex County
- Tazewell — Located in Southwest Virginia along the Clinch River
“These new Virginia Main Street communities are eager to revitalize their commercial districts and create opportunities for growth,” Northam said in a statement. “For more than three decades, the Virginia Main Street program has worked to spur economic development through historic preservation. Downtowns are the heart and soul of small towns, and Virginia is committed to helping them recover from the pandemic and remain sustainable for generations to come.”
Since its 1985 inception, Virginia Main Street communities have generated more than $1.3 billion in private investment, and new businesses locating, expanding or relocating to the communities have resulted in the creation of than 15,000 jobs. There are 30 designated communities in the state.
“Using local resources and initiatives, Virginia Main Street helps communities develop strategies to stimulate long-term economic growth in downtowns across the commonwealth,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing how these four communities take advantage of their new Main Street designation.”