Getting Started in Downtown Revitalization

DHCD works across the commonwealth to support and promote healthy, vibrant and sustaining downtowns and business districts. Below is a list of programs that may meet your needs.

Virginia Main Street (VMS)

The Virginia Main Street program is an economic and community development program that offers a range of services and assistance to meet the many needs of communities interested in revitalization. While the program was designed to address the need for revitalization and on-going management of smaller to mid-sized downtowns, aspects of the Main Street approach may be applied successfully in other commercial settings.


Blighted Structures

DHCD has several programs that can help redevelop and repurposed blighted structures, with the intent of creating new jobs, stimulating private investment and providing an economic lift to the community.


Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ)

VEZ is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment. VEZ accomplishes this by designating Enterprise Zones throughout the state and providing two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified investors and job creators within those zones, while the locality provides local incentives.


Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Funding through the Virginia Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) may be used by eligible units of local government to address a wide range of needs, including efforts to revitalize a community’s downtown. Efforts may target activities such as façade improvements, redevelopment of key structures, development of upper-story housing, creation of a loan pool to support local entrepreneurs, and economic restructuring activities that will implement strategies that will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the community, particularly the downtown business district.  


Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

The focus of Virginia’s ARC program is fostering economic development and improving the quality of life for Appalachian citizens. The ARC program may be able to assist with redevelop of anchor structures in a downtown which support broader, regional economic development efforts.