FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 24, 2016
Contact: Sara Smith
Bedford Main Street Secures Matching Funds for Downtown Investment Grant
BEDFORD – After Governor McAuliffe announced a $20,000 grant, Bedford Main Street finalized two equal matching grants by the Town of Bedford and the Bedford County Economic Development Authority. This brings the total grant funding to $40,000. These grant funds will be utilized to establish a Zero Interest Loan Program to assist entrepreneurs and will accelerate the economic revitalization of the Bedford Main Street district by helping implement innovative strategies, plans and programs that create an environment for increased, accelerated private investment.
Jim Messier, president of Bedford Main Street, said today, “We are all committed to revitalizing our community. With these funds, we will be able to recruit, educate, develop, and mentor entrepreneurs to invest businesses in the Centertown area. It’s just the beginning.”
The No Interest Loan program will be administered by a committee with members coming from the Small Business Development Center at CVCC, Bedford County Economic Development, and the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. This group will manage the loan process and determine eligibility requirements, execution processes, and tracking systems.
“Our goal is increased foot traffic, rehabilitated buildings, occupied shop fronts, and a beautification that highlights Bedford’s natural and historic value. This program is something that will have positive long-term impact towards that goal and Bedford Main Street has done a great job of building partnerships and creating opportunities to move us forward.” Mayor Bob Wandrei said last night at the Town Council meeting.
Traci Blido, Director of Economic Development for Bedford County, said today, “It’s exciting to partner with the Town and Main Street to encourage business growth and investments in Centertown. Bedford is a welcoming place to do business and this program may open some new doors to our downtown business community.”
It is projected that the No Interest Loan program will be active by Summer 2016.
Bedford has been a designated Main Street Community since the Commonwealth’s Main Street program was first established in 1985. The program helps prevent downtown districts across the Commonwealth from economic decline and possible demolition. 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 revitalize our Main Street community. 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. Bedford Main Street is one of 25 designated communities throughout Virginia.