Back the ‘Burg

Everyone benefits from a prosperous, vibrant downtown. Our community was a much different place when HDR got started than where it is today.  Downtown’s success comes from having an organization lead the charge and having the support and participation of dedicated customers, partners, and business owners. Not letting a high vacancy rate or naysayers stop us, our community earned national recognition as a Great American Main Street Award winner — a leader in revitalization.

Together, we keep downtown’s momentum going. Help continue writing downtown’s success story by donating today! 

We celebrated our 15th anniversary with a video that features community members who take a look back and a look forward:

The next 15 years…

HDR is 100% focused on Downtown. So much has been accomplished, but more work remains so we don’t slip backwards and instead get better each year! This is what your donation supports:

Economic Development | Downtown Harrisonburg is an economic engine for all of Harrisonburg — its success has a ripple effect throughout the region. We contribute to the economic ecosystem by strengthening existing businesses with trainings, customer focus groups, networking & convenings, promotions, and grants. And, we match new prospects with cool spaces and help them get started & plugged into the community.

Marketing | Throughout the year, we run marketing campaigns that include media outreach, blogs, social media, strategically placed print ads, digital strategies, and more to capture the attention of shoppers, diners, and investors. Two newer efforts include publishing a glossy, in-room magazine for Hotel Madison guests to drive them downtown and an annual holiday shopping guide that features the unique gifts you’ll never find at the mall.

Promotions/Events | Our events have been community favorites for years. Whether you join us to celebrate the Fourth of July, Taste of Downtown, Halloween, or our new Downtown Dinner Party, we bring people to the heart of the community and provide an atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed. Events serve to bring the community together and to attract visitors so we can show off our locally owned restaurants and shops.

Beautification | We want to match the look of our streets with the vibrancy of the businesses and people here. We’re working on installing more public art, activating spaces (how about that alley between Court Square and Water Street?), and enhancing landscaping. And, for the holidays, we invested in new LED snowflakes for the street lights, garland for the Spring House, and twinkly lights for the trees to make winter less dreary! What’s more – our Design Committee offers free technical advice to business and property owners & published a guidebook this year.

Grants | We offer three grant opportunities to keep the momentum going:

Facade Enhancement Grants – A beautiful space invites people in. Building improvements signal that downtown is worth investing in and attract more customers. We know improvements can be expensive so we offer this grant to help boost curb appeal.

Bricks and Clicks – Through free hands-on, customized training and grants, we are helping businesses create experience-based bricks-and-mortar destinations, boost profits through e-commerce, and grow customer traffic with savvy digital marketing strategies.

Downtown Destination – We want to empower businesses and community members to bring their ideas to life and to help make downtown a strong destination with us. The opportunities are endless from new events to re-imagined, under-utilized space. All it takes is an application.

We have big dreams for downtown Harrisonburg.
We need your support to make it happen.
Join us and create the downtown we ALL love.