We all love downtown and we all have great ideas to contribute building our community as a destination for locals and visitors. To help make ideas happen, we launched Destination Downtown for business and community members to submit ideas for events, activities, attractions, art, and other cool things that will bring people here. We awarded $25,000 in 2018 and will award $20,000 in summer 2019.
Bricks & Clicks
We know that online sales and a strong internet presence is the key to success for small businesses …And, we know that a really cool bricks & mortar atmosphere builds buzz and sales. We launched Bricks & Clicks in 2018 to help small businesses become stronger online & offline destinations through inspirational speakers, one-on-one technical assistance from experts, and mini-grants. We haven’t completed our first round yet but already one business with declining sales let us know that they have made a comeback and a new business made changes that have already boosted online sales by 30%. We’re still managing this year’s grantees and will offer this economic development program again in 2019.
Façade Enhancement Grants
HDR has funded 100 projects and awarded $196,050 in façade grants over 13 years. Our Design Committee is comprised of several architects and design professionals who help advise on new construction, rehab projects, and interior spaces – either as needed or in conjunction with grant applications. We are getting ready to launch another grants round in early 2019. Our last round funded $16,000 in projects, including Magnolia’s side patio for more outdoor dining, withSimplicity’s sign for their new bricks-and-mortar space, a historic neon sign restoration at Gitchell’s Photography, the backyard patio of Pulp & SBC, and the new sign for Frame Factory and additional sign for Midtowne Market.
1. Art Bike Racks – $2000 The Shenandoah BicycleCoalition would like to take the function of a bike rack but also create somethingfun and attractive in downtown with artistically designed bike racks to beplaced in high traffic areas. We requested Water Street as the location thisyear.
2. Shenandoah Valley Art Mobile Community Mural– $3300 This great new organization creates murals with the community’s help.
3. Play-A-Thon – $1250 A musical event,mostly by pianists, located on the corner in front the library. We requested aMusic of the World them.
4. Soul Fest – $5000 A free event for the community with the intention ofbringing in a large and inclusive audience located behind the Golden Pony.
5. Resolute Weekend – $2300 Expand an alreadysuccessful event throughout downtown for the weekend. Funding a passportprogram with partners from other businesses.
6. Hugo Kohl Museum Guided Tours – $1800 Contentfor video self-guided tours of the American Jewelry Museum.
7. Graffiti Revealed – $2500 – Expose historicgraffiti that was found during a renovation inside Harrisonburg Homes. Creatingdestinations within businesses is important and we hope other businesses willbe inspired to share their hidden treasures with the community too.
8. StoryWalk – $1600 – A progressive story withposters displayed throughout downtown. A wonderful activity for families toenjoy throughout downtown without cost. We requested a multilingual story ifpossible. The story will be changed quarterly.
9. Pollinator Habitat – $5250 – Clean-up ofthe area kitty corner to Local Chop, where the large billboard is currently.Create a pollinator habitat, including educational information, and benches toenjoy the space. Love the larger vision of the Bee City designation. Reallylike the use of a volunteer organization to help create it and thebeautification to a gateway into downtown.