Partnership reflects on tasks

Published 12:53 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP), an organization that focuses on developing downtown Farmville, hosted an event at The Virginia Tasting Cellar May 16 to thank sponsors and to offer a report of the activities of the organization over the past six years.

Ilsa Loeser, president of FDP, said the organization, which began in 2012, organizes ways to promote existing businesses within downtown Farmville, generate economic growth by exploring new business opportunities and creates events downtown.

Farmville was certified as a Virginia Main Street® in 2012.

Email newsletter signup

During the event, participants had hors d’oeuvres, wine from Hunting Creek Vineyards and beer from Third Street Brewing, and took part in a trivia event where winners received bottles of wine.

Some of the activities FDP has organized or sponsored include the Downtown SOUP event, which offered two grants in March for the Central VA Young Authors and for a wildflower/butterfly garden proposed at High Bridge Plaza; the Student Artist Mural Project, which took place last summer; organizing a grocery store feasibility study and helping move the Longwood University Barnes & Noble from Midtown Square to North Main Street.

Loeser said the organization has netted more than 20,000 volunteer hours in the past five years, which Loeser said is valued at approximately $500,000.

“For every government dollar that’s given to Farmville Downtown Partnership through the town, through the county, through the state, it’s leveraged by $2.3 dollars in private investment in our downtown,” Loeser said. “So that’s a great return on investment for even our tax dollars downtown.”

Loeser said a challenge for towns in Southside Virginia has been maintaining the downtown areas.

“I believe deeply that the apple rots from the inside out,” Loeser said. “And as long as our downtown is thriving, the rest of our community is going to be thriving.”

“We have our struggles but our downtown is alive, and it is vital,” Loeser said.

Upcoming events, Loeser said, include the Players on the Plaza, a concert series at the High Bridge Trail plaza and the High Bridge Half marathon and 5K, which takes place on Oct. 6.

This article has been corrected from its original version.