Why Downtown?

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Virginia Main Street program is the state's primary downtown revitalization program, the only one focused solely on historic commercial districts, and there are periodic complaints from businesses located beyond the immediate downtown area.

What's in it for them?

That's a question that is not infrequently asked around the state within the 25 Virginia communities that are official members of the Virginia Main Street program.

A very human question, a logical question, a reasonable question.

And one with an answer.

“One of the things we hear is, 'Well, I'm not in the Main Street district. I feel left out,'” Virginia Main Street's Jeff Sadler told the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce during his visit this fall. “The reason we focus on a very defined district is because it is the core of the community, it's the hub that holds all the spokes of the wheel together.

“And without the hub all those spokes would just fall out and go wherever,” Sadler said.

The hub is why there are major roads coming into Farmville and those major roads have become home to many businesses strictly and solely because of the hub, downtown Farmville, businesses which benefit from the traffic of shoppers coming into Farmville.

Without downtown Farmville, none of the rest of it would exist either.

“It benefits the entire community,” Sadler said of the Main Street program.

A light shines for everyone in the room.