They’ve done it again. It’s a partnership that keeps on giving.
On Friday, Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. and the Town of Culpeper were presented with a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award recognizing the organizationâs 25th anniversary as a member of Virginia Main Street. The awards were presented at Richmondâs historic Hippodrome Theater.
“It’s exciting to celebrate 25 years as a Main Street program,” said Elana Clements, CRI vice president. “It’s also a reminder of all of the hard work and time put in by all of our stakeholders: our business and property owners, local residents, and local government partners.”
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.
âVirginia 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,â said Cheng.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton pointed to downtown progress through the numbers.
âIn the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $252 million in private investment in their districts,â said Shelton. âAs a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 424 jobs across the 25 Main Street downtown districts.â
Cate McGinnisWyatt, the founder of Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnerhship, praised the work of communities that honor their historic main streets.
“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,â said Wyatt.
“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.”
Director of Tourism Lori Sorrentino agrees.
âA tremendous amount of dedication, hard work, and community spirit has continued to drive the Culpeper Renaissance organization for 25 years. Itâs inspiring to see such achievements and results that continue to make Culpeper such a great place to visit, work, and live. Congratulations to the representatives of CRI, past and present, for all they have done for our community!â
Since CRIâs designation as a Virginia Main Street Community in 1988, more than $50 million has been invested in Downtown Culpeper through consumer spending, financial contributions, and volunteer hours. In 2012 alone, 2,684 volunteer hours were performed at events and programs sponsored by CRI.
As a result of these cumulative successes over the past 25 years, CRI was awarded a 2012 Great American Main Street Award in April 2012.
Always supportive of efforts that drive Culpeper’s economic engine, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Culpeper County Chamber of Commerce Jim Charapich was equally pleased.
âThe Chamber of Commerce has been an Ex-Officio member on the CRI Board of Directors since the beginning. We have seen the organization go through many changes as we have offered our guidance to it’s mission,â said Charapich.
âWe congratulate the Main Street efforts of CRI and look forward to continued focus on the mission of the organization. Our downtown is a critical part of the local economy. The businesses located there have invested in brick and mortar to see returns on their investment The results have made us all proud. Continuing to see the downtown business revenues supported by town funding of CRI and a focus on the success of these businesses is an admiral investment.â
For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.