Downtown Lynchburg sees impact of the pandemic one year later
LYNCHBURG, Va. – One year into the pandemic, and like everywhere else, the Hill City has seen its fair share of struggle. The Downtown Lynchburg Association released their 2020 annual report to show the impact. Kathy Shaw, owner of Beeswax Candle Co., relies heavily on online sales and says revenue jumped 50 percent at the start of the pandemic. When it comes to online sales, Ben Noyes can’t say the same. “A lot of it was people working from home instead of coming downtown to work,” said Noyes.
Lynchburg creates memorial to mark a year since US’ first-reported COVID-19 death
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Monday marked one year since America reported its first COVID-19 death, but the U.S. has come a long way since then. Lynchburg residents and business owners created a memorial as the nation’s death toll continues to rise. Inside the Hip Tulip Flower Shop, Colleen Dykstra helped prune nearly 500 roses in the shape of a heart to honor those who have been impacted by COVID-19. For Dykstra, the vibrant, three-foot display of roses blossoms a bond with so many others. Organizers hope it becomes a growing memorial, where people leave messages, flowers and photos to honor loved ones they’ve lost.
Lynchburg’s Crafters Gallery reopens after March closure
LYNCHBURG, Va. – For the first time since March, Lynchburg Community Market’s Crafter’s Gallery reopened its doors earlier this month. The Crafters Gallery is in the building behind the city’s farmers market and features the work of local artisans all year long. Also, there are now fewer crafters to allow both shoppers and vendors more room to social distance. She’s had a booth at the Crafters Gallery for more than 30 years and couldn’t wait for the return. The Lynchburg Community Market also has permanent vendors like bakeries and cafes and a seafood market is in the works right now.
Downtown Lynchburg women’s clothing boutique holds grand opening on Black Friday
LYNCHBURG, Va. – One business gearing up for Small Business Saturday just opened its doors on Black Friday. Ayven Avenue Boutique, a new shop that sells women’s clothing and accessories, is located on 5th Street in Downtown Lynchburg. “We really feel like small businesses need some support this year. So, we wanted to get down here and just be a part of the community and let everyone know that we’re here,” Howell said. The original boutique was located on Leesville Road but shut its doors after two years.
Lynchburg’s Main Street project making progress, despite roadblocks
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg’s Main Street Renewal Project is on the road to completion, even though it’s faced some bumps along the way. Project manager Jim Talian said that while every building on Main Street between 12th and 8th streets is now connected to the new water and electric systems, they’re facing minor setbacks. The new water systems have a higher pressure than the old water systems, so we had to put pressure-reducing valves on all 57 water services. The 800-block of Main Street, scheduled to open by Thanksgiving, is now planned for early December, while the 1000-block, set to reopen by Christmas, has been pushed to late January. Talian said that despite setbacks, the entire project is expected is to be complete by June 2021, two months ahead of schedule.
Police searching for two people in connection with Lynchburg church vandalism involving white supremacy sticker
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg Police Department ia searching for two suspects wanted for vandalizing and stealing from a church. It happened on October 8th at the First Unitarian Church in Downtown Lynchburg. The church’s minister, Reverend Terre Balof, believes the suspects captured on surveillance video stole a rainbow banner hanging above the entrance, then placed a sticker of a white supremacist group on the church’s free, outdoor library. “If they were trying to intimidate us, that’s not going to work, and we’re ordering another banner,” said Reverend Terre Balof. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lynchburg Police Department.
Downtown Lynchburg businesses struggling with the year’s changes have faith in the future
LYNCHBURG, Va. – As pizzeria workers slice and dice inside Benny Scarpetta’s on Main Street, construction crews continue slicing and dicing the roadway outside. Lynchburg’s Main Street Renewal Project has taken a toll on traffic between 8th and 12th Street over the past year. But in recent months, businesses like Benny Scarpetta’s have hit another roadblock: COVID-19. Businesses have faith in the future of Main Street. “The goal is that it brings in more business and to hear that it’s already on track is super, super nice,” Miles said.
Everybody needs inspiration: Chalk art for National Suicide Prevention Week appears in Lynchburg
LYNCHBURG, Va. A Lynchburg group created eye-catching art to start a conversation about suicide and mental health. The Suicide Prevention Awareness Coalition invited artists to draw inspiring chalk images and messages outside of the Academy Center for the Arts on Sunday. The event coincided with the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. People are struggling more so now than ever, and some people are struggling that have never struggled before, said Christina Ingram of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Coalition. The event was attended by Lynchburg vice mayor Beau Wright, who said he has also struggled with his mental health in the past.
Change for Change: Lynchburg women refurbish parking meters to collect coins for nonprofits
LYNCHBURG, Va. Some old parking meters in Lynchburg have been refurbished and converted into piggy banks. We need people to clear off their change that they have in their dresser drawers and bring them down, said Peggy Nolley, creator of Change for Change Caring Meters-Lynchburg. Nolley started Change for Change Caring Meters in Lynchburg after seeing the idea in Canada. A gigantic result Nolley said will help Lynchburg-area families. So, I think all the help that they can get even though its not going to be huge dollars, said Libby Fitzgerald, co-partner of Change for Change Caring Meters-Lynchburg.
Lynchburg Downtown-a-Thon celebrates, gives back to businesses
LYNCHBURG, Va. Supporting Downtown Lynchburg businesses just got a little easier. The event is just as unique as the businesses that make up Downtown Lynchburg while raising thousands of dollars for the downtown associations recovery initiative for businesses hit during the pandemic. While spotlighting people to what makes Downtown Lynchburg so special the association is also collecting donations. As the Downtown Associations way to say thank you, when you give you could receive exclusive merchandise. Since the event is virtual it can reach people who arent familiar with Downtown Lynchburg.
Construction for Lynchburg's 2-year Main Street Renewal project begins
LYNCHBURG, Va. - You could be dealing with some delays in Downtown Lynchburg starting on Monday. For the next two years, parts of Main Street will close, as contractors and Appalachian Power are working to replace aging waterlines and update sanitary, storm and electrical systems. Business owners said the project will be a pain, but they are glad customers will have access to their doors. That's going to make it clear for people," Rodney Taylor, the owner of Market at Main, said. City leaders are also offering free two-hour parking in some parking decks during the construction.