Cities in Southwest Virginia look to thrive with revitalization

COVINGTON, Va. – Cities in our region are looking to revitalize.

Martinsville, Galax, Buena Vista, and Covington are part of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Main Street Program.

“I think it’s great,” said David Crosier, owner of Image Express in downtown Covington.

Crosier lived in Covington his entire life and saw changes when West Main Street was popular.

“When the big malls started taking over in the 80′s that’s when people started shopping, as the 80′s progressed into the 90′s, you started to see Main Street Covington, Main street USA kind of go away,” Crosier. “At one point in downtown Covington, we had a JC Penny’s in this building.”

For Crosier, seeing more businesses and shops along West Main Street in Covington is a no-brainer.

“Anything you can do to raise awareness of downtown Covington.”

Covington is one of ten cities that has organizations working with the Virginia Department of Housing Community Development Main Street Program.

It’s a two-year program that will provide a guideline to help promote economic development along the main street.

“Try to keep business looking good, try to encourage business,” Covington Mayor Tom Sibold said.

Participating organizations will work with the DCHD to develop benchmarks and create grants to ensure Main Street can thrive.

State leaders said the program had changed communities across the Commonwealth for 35 years, which is critical for economic development and small business growth.

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