Farmville Downtown Partnership celebrates accreditation

Published 8:30 am Friday, May 12, 2023

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FARMVILLE – Farmville Downtown Partnership received its National Accreditation certificate from Main Street America this past week celebrating the organization’s hard work in making a comeback from the pandemic.

The Farmville Downtown Partnership is a 501-C3 committed to preservation-based economic development and revitalization through the Main Street approach consisting of design, economic vitality, promotion and organization. Each year, Main Street America reviews numerous criteria to accredit local Main Streets organizations. Due to the lockdowns and pandemic, Farmville hasn’t been accredited for the past few years. However, the board put in the extra work to bring the organization and Main Street back to their pre-pandemic status.

“The board has worked so hard to bring back programs and projects that COVID impacted,” said Nancy Alexander, executive director. “They put in an extraordinary amount of time to re-accredit the organization.”

A goal for Farmville Downtown Partnership

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Alexander joined the Farmville Downtown Partnership in October as the full-time executive director in hopes of bringing back their accreditation. Due to not being present for the majority of the year, she really credits the board for putting everything together to pull this off.

Accreditation is based on meeting strenuous expectations developed by Main Street America. The six standards the organization was judged on were 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.

In February, Alexander along with Board President Caryn Cayton and Vice-President Jake Romaine met with Virginia Main Street representative Zachary Whitlow to review how the Farmville Downtown Partnership implemented the six required standards.

“We are so delighted to attain our accreditation this year,” said Cayton. “Our committees and Director have worked hard to make it happen. The committees are busy creating events for connection, aiding with visual vitality and helping keep our storefronts full. We want our Main Street to always be a great place to play, visit, work and live.”

What happens next?

Looking forward, the Farmville Downtown Partnership plans to keep doing what they’re doing in hopes of growing a stronger base in its accreditation process. The organization has submitted a request to the Department of Housing and Community Development for a $50,000 grant to implement a local façade renovation grant program. There are plans to bring back “Rock the Block” on Saturday, August 26, and a possible Christmas Market.

The organization also plans on holding more educational seminars like the Social Media Workshop that helped inform retailers on how to use the various social media platforms to build and engage with their audience.

“It was a true community effort and we hope to hold more things like that in the future,” said Alexander.