Friday, March 29, 2013

Historic Manassas Inc. receives Virginia Main Street Milestone Awards

 For Immediate Release:                                Contact: Taylor Lenz

March 29, 2013                                                               (703) 361-6599 x104

                                                                                               

 

Manassas receives Virginia Main Street Milestone Awards

- Historic Manassas, Inc. and the city of Manassas receive awards for volunteer investment in downtown and recognizing 25 years in Virginia Main Street –

 

Richmond, VA – On Friday, March 22, Historic Manassas, Inc. and the city of Manassas were presented with a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards for the contribution of over 55,000 volunteer hours dedicated to downtown revitalization and recognizing the organization’s 25th anniversary as a member of the Virginia Main Street. The awards were presented at Richmond’s historic Hippodrome Theater.

At the ceremony that focused on the results of Main Street efforts, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng spoke to the audience of more than 70 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals about the visible results of their leadership. “Virginia main streets are thriving because of the collaboration between public and private sector, local and state governments and the citizens of each community getting involved to make their downtowns an attractive place to live, work and play,” said Cheng.

 

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton pointed to downtown progress through the numbers. “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $252 million in private investment in their districts,” said Shelton. “As a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 424 jobs across the 25 Main Street downtown districts.”

"Historic Main Street communities are much more than bricks and mortar. They serve as the heart and soul of our communities as they evoke the stories of our past while providing incomparable economic and cultural opportunities which sustain the quality of life for all citizens,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the founder of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. "Our national surveys have found that 84 percent of potential visitors are, first and foremost, attracted to the region because of our quaint small towns. The work of the Virginia Main Street Program is critically important to creating jobs and attracting these visitors to the commonwealth."

 

In Old Town Manassas, revitalization strategies include promoting a positive image of downtown Manassas by encouraging economic development, sponsoring special events throughout the year, and creating partnerships with local businesses to foster further growth and development of our community. Historic Manassas, Inc. is also responsible for the operation of a state-accredited Visitor Center, and a year-round Farmer's Market. 

In addition to Manassas, Virginia Main Street recognized the following communities for excellence.

·   Abingdon

·   Berryville

·   Blackstone

·   Bristol

·   Culpeper

·   Harrisonburg

·   Lynchburg

·   Marion

·   Orange

·   Radford

·   St. Paul

·   Staunton

·   Waynesboro

·   Winchester


Currently there are 25 designated Virginia Main Street communities: Abingdon, Altavista, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Farmville, Franklin, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Radford, Rocky Mount, Saint Paul, 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 www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.

 

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Caption: Virignia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Chris Finnie, Charles Patullo, Mark Olsen and Debbie Haight of Historic Manassas, Inc. and Virginia Main Street Program Manager Jeff Sadler at the Virginia Main Street Milestones Achievement Awards Luncheon.