Bedford Main Street Receives 2016 National Main Street Accreditation


For Immediate Release                                            

Contact:  Sara Smith


 Bedford, VA (June 21, 2016) – Bedford Main Street has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.

“Once again, we are thrilled to recognize this year’s nationally accredited Main Street America communities for their outstanding work,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “We are experiencing an exciting era for America’s cities and towns, with a growing recognition of the importance of strong local enterprise, distinctive character, engaged residents, and sense of place. These are things that Main Street America programs have been working to protect and advance for years, strengthening the economic, social, and cultural fabric of communities across the country.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Virginia Main Street and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards.

“Bedford Main Street is proud to be a part of a national movement to help create places where people want to spend their time,” says Sara Smith, Executive Director of Bedford Main Street. “We value and appreciate the commitment our community has made with us to revitalize and renew our historic Centertown district, and we look forward to continued success and greater achievement in the future.”

Bedford has been a designated Main Street Community since 1985. Bedford Main Street works to re-energize economic development of our Centertown district while utilizing our cultural assets and character.  This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of local civic and business leaders who are determined to bring our Main Street community back to life. The innovative Four-Point Approach © program uses design, promotion, economic vitality and organization to reach our goal to help us all build a better community.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $65.6 billion in new public and private investment, generated 556,960 net new jobs and 126,476 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 260,000 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


“Bedford Remembers” Banners


Date: May 2, 2016

Contact: Sara Smith

Phone: 540-586-2148



Bedford Main Street to Install New Banners in Historic District

BEDFORD – For the first time in several years, Bedford will feature decorative banners on light poles in the Centertown historic district. The banners will reflect the town’s connection to D-Day and the Memorial by featuring an outline of the Overlord Arch with the phrase “Bedford Remembers” on it. This project is part of a greater strategy to revitalize the Centertown area and tie it in with the community’s history and heritage.

Design Committee Chairman, Bryan Schley, said, “These banners will bring life into the town and help make the area a more appealing place visually. They also highlight our role as an important part of the D-Day story.”

The banners are being paid for through a community fundraiser. Garden/yard flags have been created in the same image as the banners, and are available for sale on the Bedford Main Street webpage. A portion of the cost will go towards paying for the banners. Residents are encouraged to purchase one and show their support for the town and the project.

Jim Messier, Bedford Main Street president, said, “Private investment is critical. This is one way we can bring private dollars in to make an immediate impact on the town. We are all Bedford, so we all should participate in helping make it a vibrant and vital place to live, work, and play.”

Bedford has been a designated Main Street Community since the Commonwealth’s Main Street program was first established in 1985. Bedford Main Street works to re-energize economic development of th Centertown district while utilizing cultural assets and character.  This is further accomplished by pooling the resources of local residents and businesses who are determined to bring our Main Street community back to life. The innovative Four-Point Approach © program uses design, promotion, economic vitality and organization to reach our goal to help us all build a better community.


Beautifying Bedford

By Jim Messier

It is often said the heartbeat or character of any community is it’s downtown district. Centertown Bedford has been the heart and soul of Bedford County Virginia for centuries. We live up to our designation as the Christmas Capital of Virginia every year with our incredible Christmas decorations, horse and buggy rides and hot apple cider on Friday nights. As Spring is quickly giving way to summer we are working hard to bring that “All American Town” feel back to Centertown all year.

Many building owners have or are in the process of beautifying their buildings with remodeling and fresh paint.  We recently have had new businesses open and many more making preparations to open soon. The Town and County of Bedford have recently created  incentives to promote new businesses and expansions of existing businesses.   Bedford Main Street has partnered with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Town of Bedford and the County of Bedford to establish a no interest loan fund available for Centertown businesses.

It should come as no surprise that community pride is contagious and necessary for a healthy community.  Tourism is very important for our local economy and we have one chance to make a first impression on our visitors.  How many people do we know who have become residents of Bedford because they fell in love with the town and her people.Flag image

Among the many wonderful things that are currently going on, Bedford Main Street has initiated two programs that will have an immediate impact to beautify and unify the Centertown district.  Bedford Remembers introduces individual garden flags featuring the Overlord arch and a Centertown street scape. The flags are available for purchase at many Centertown businesses or here for $25.00, the proceeds of which will purchase large industrial grade banners which will grace the Centertown street lamps trough out Memorial Day and D-Day each year. We believe this will have an amazing visual impact and our hope is to have them ready to go in a few weeks.

page01The second program we are rolling out is Bedford Blooms.  You have probably seen the few beautiful flower baskets that graced North Bridge Street the past couple of years.  Bedford Main Street’s hope is to launch the hanging baskets all through the Centertown District this spring and summer.  We are working with local nursery, Wippledale Farms to provide the baskets, flowering plants and mounting hardware.  We are asking for your support to make this a reality this year. We are budgeting $50.00 for each basket. We will accept any amount to support this program and will start hanging the baskets shortly.

Thank you very much for your continued support of the Bedford Main Street program and doing your part to help us continue as the World’s Best Little Town.


Banking Coalition

Bedford Main Street thanks the following for supporting Economic Vitality in Bedford:

 union-bank  UnionTim Black, Jim Messier, Rhonda Long, Tammy Brown


 AM Nat  American National donation

Scott Carter and Jim Messier


Their donations are sponsoring the

Spring 2016 Bedford Business Boot Camp!

Bedford Blooms

page01Bedford Blooms is a project to beautify the Centertown Bedford area.  Two essential elements of the project are fundraising and project coordination. Community fundraising supports the cost of purchasing baskets, brackets, and planting materials. Project Coordination is creating a plan to keep the baskets watered during the host summer days! The hanging baskets for the 2016 Summer season will decorate light poles locations around the Centertown area.

Bedford Blooms is organized by volunteers of Bedford Main Street, in partnership with local merchants, residents, organizations, and the Town. Bedford Main Street works to enhance, basket 2promote and preserve the vitality and economic vitality of Bedford.

Flower Baskets cost $50 each and you may donate as a celebration of life, a birthday, anniversary, or simply because you want to help beautify the Centertown area.


All donations will be recognized on this page as they come in.

Bedford Blooms Donations (as of 4/25)

  • Arthur’s Jewelry
  • The Messier Family
  • The Smith Family

Flower Baskets are prepared by our partnering sponsor:


A Visit from Main Street America

By Sara Smith

Kathy LaPlante HeadshotKathy La Plante, Senior Main Street Program Officer at Main Street America, will be visiting Bedford on April 29th and 30th to provide program development strategies and insight to the board and volunteers of Bedford Main Street. Over the course of the 2 days, she will facilitate multiple meetings with the four BMS committees, Organization, Design, Promotions, and Economic Vitality, as well as meeting with town officials and other leaders about developing strategies and partnerships that will improve the vitality of the main street district.

Main Street America is the national “parent” organization for Bedford Main Street.

To learn more about Kathy, click here.

A New Name

In April, Bedford Artisan Market changed its name to Dirt Road Treasures!

DRT is 11000 square feet of treasures! A variety of prices on Antique & vintage items, with new items daily. Make sure to stop in and ask about Elvis and Clem!


115 N Bridge St, Bedford, Virginia 24523


10:30 am – 6:30 pm
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Committee News

Economic Vitality Committee

by Mary Grace Franchi


The Economic Vitality Committee would like to thank Union Bank & Trust for supporting Bedford Main Street by sponsoring the Bedford Business Boot Camp. We are excited to have over 15 students attend our first class and we are looking forward to hearing more about their ideas and goals for starting a business within the Main Street footprint. If you are interested in learning more about how to operate a business in Bedford or attend our free classes with the Bedford Business Boot Camp, please feel free to visit our website at or call 540-586-2148. Classes are held every Wednesday from now until May 25th. Seats are filling up fast, so don’t hesitate to register.



We would also like to take this opportunity to announce that Steve Rush has been appointed the role of Chairman for the Economic Vitality Committee. As Councilman and Vice Mayor of Bedford, Steve has become very familiar with the many projects that Bedford Main Street and the Economic Vitality Committee have been working on. He shares our goals and ambitions to promote economic development within the town of Bedford and we are very excited to have him on board and help lead us to a better tomorrow. The Economic Vitality Committee meets every second Wednesday of the month at Liberty Landscape Supply at 1000 Grove Street. If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining the committee, please email us at  or call 540-586-2148.

Design Committee

by Bryan Schley

The flags are here! You can pick up a flag with a $25 donation to Bedford Main Street Inc.  You can find the flags at the following locations, Arthur’s Jewelry, People’s Furniture, Needful Things, Bell Treasures, Liberty Landscape Supply, Rapid Printing, and the Bedford Welcome Center.

The Banners will be here soon. They should be up by Memorial Day. Please if you have a Bedford Remembers Flag we ask that you display it from Memorial Day to the end of June. Thank you again for your support of our Veterans.

The design committee is talking with members of the town to provide a park bench in the new Centertown Plaza. That final design of that park bench is in the works. Next month it should be finalized.

We would like to recognize American Nation Bank for the new sign painted on their building.  It is great to cross the bridge and see “Welcome to Centertown Bedford”. Great job and we appreciate your commitment to our downtown area as well as your support of Bedford Main Street Inc.  Also coming soon will be another painted logo on the side of W Depot Street building. Many years ago the building on the corner of N. Bridge Street and W. Depot Street had a coke sign painted on the bricks. We are excited to announce that is coming back. We need your help. Anyone that has a picture of that logo, please contact the Bedford Main Street office.

If you would like to be a part of the Bedford Main Street Design Committee, please contact Bryan Schley at 434.444.1874.