Farmville Downtown Partnership earns accreditation

Published 2:30 am Thursday, March 9, 2023

FARMVILLE – The Farmville Downtown Partnership continues to grow and develop. Now the group has taken another step toward bringing things back to the way they were before the pandemic. As of this month, the Partnership has earned its accreditation with Main Street America.

What is the Farmville Downtown Partnership?

The Farmville Downtown Partnership is a non-profit organization that focuses on serving residents and visitors by developing the culture of downtown. The organization is part of a bigger picture as they are with Virginia Main Streets, which is part of Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, which is all under Main Street America.

The organization was previously accredited but had lost it due to the pandemic. Luckily, the accreditation process happens every year, so this loss was only temporary.

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“We’ve been accredited with them before,” said Nancy Alexander, executive director of the Farmville Downtown Partnership. “With COVID causing a lot of changes we lost our accreditation but the board committed to gather the information and get the recognition back.”

What is Main Street America?

Main Street America is a nationwide network of thousands of communities across the nation that are committed to revitalizing their downtowns and commercial centers. Part of Farmville’s participation in the Main Street program is to meet these accreditation standards. These standards help show where local Main Streets are thriving and growing and where improvements can be made.

The six national accreditation standards include broad-based community commitment, inclusive leadership and organizational capacity, diverse and sustainable funding, strategy-driven programming, preservation-based economic development and demonstrated impact and results.

“There is a six-point criteria that Main Street America judges,” said Alexander. “Under each of the six is an extensive list of standards we have to meet.”

One of the standards that needed to be met was having someone full-time to serve as the organization’s director. This was one of the reasons Alexander was brought on last year. A wide range of aspects was looked at under the criteria including events that were held and the sales and meal taxes collected.

The main points for the Farmville Downtown Partnership that were looked at were organization, design, economic vitality and promotions. At the end, Virginia Main Street creates a report of the year to show the work that was accomplished.

“Coming out of COVID, the work we did this (past) year was pretty significant,” said Alexander. “The numbers may not look like much, but for our area, we did well.”