PEMBROKE – A small grant is making a big difference in one New River Valley town as it works to attract new businesses and increase tourism. Thursday town leaders of Pembroke unveiled the project and what they’ve completed through the RALLY Southwest Virginia mini-grant program.
The Town of Pembroke is the second community in the New River Valley and Giles County to participate in this new mini-grant program, facilitated by Opportunity SWVA. The mini-grant program provides a $3,000 award to communities to implement a community development project through a team structure.
The group gathered for the initial meeting late in 2017 to discuss the potential of the RALLY program and began brainstorming how this mini-grant could be utilized to support ongoing development efforts in Pembroke.
A new kiosk, a new façade on the town municipal building and a fresh coat of paint for perhaps the state’s oldest and smallest historic libraries are a few of the beautification projects the rally southwest Virginia mini-grant paid for in Pembroke.
Betty Spears, Pembroke Vice Mayor said the projects are kickstarting a new initiative to bring more amenities to the town.
"We are trying to draw attention to the town of Pembroke and bring it back to life. I think it's working,” Spears said.
This projects is what town leaders like Spears said is just the start of something much bigger happening in Pembroke. Currently, they are working on securing more grant funding that will improve sidewalks and ultimately beautify the downtown area.
"We want to see a lot more businesses to come in. We've got the cascades, we've got the library and all that rally has provided for us. We are growing and we want to continue,” Spears said.