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, one business with declining sales has already let us know that they have made a comeback and a new business made changes that has boosted their 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, the new sign for Frame Factory, and an additional sign for Midtowne Market.
1. Art Bike Racks – $2000 The Shenandoah Bicycle Coalition would like to take the functionality of a bike rack, but also create something fun and attractive in downtown with artistically designed bike racks to be placed in high traffic areas. We requested Water Street as the location this year.
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 a Music of the World theme.
4. Soul Fest – $5000 A free event for the community with the intention of bringing in a large and inclusive audience located behind the Golden Pony.
5. Resolute Weekend – $2300 Expand on an already successful event throughout downtown for the weekend. Funding a passport program with partners from other businesses.
6. Hugo Kohl Museum Guided Tours – $1800 Content for video self-guided tours of the American Jewelry Museum.
7. Graffiti Revealed – $2500 – Expose historic graffiti that was found during a renovation inside Harrisonburg Homes. Creating destinations within businesses is important and we hope other businesses will be inspired to share their hidden treasures with the community too.
8. Story Walk – $1600 – A progressive story with posters displayed throughout downtown. A wonderful activity for families to enjoy throughout downtown without cost. We requested a multilingual story if possible. The story will be changed quarterly.
9. Pollinator Habitat – $5250 – Clean-up of the area catty corner to Local Chop, where the large billboard is currently. Create a pollinator habitat, including educational information, and benches to enjoy the space. Love the larger vision of the Bee City designation. Really like the use of a volunteer organization to help create it and the beautification to a gateway into downtown.