Economic Development Initiatives

Recently, the Town of Pulaski has seen many positive developments as investors redevelop vacant buildings,
and local community organizations provide support for small business development and attracting visitors to
the town to shop and support local businesses. The Town has developed several planning and implementation
resources to support the redevelopment of the downtown area, and implement strategies to revitalize the local
economy after the loss of key employers in recent decades. The Town of Pulaski Strategic Plan and Vision,
updated in 2015, provides a comprehensive set of strategies to support economic development in the town,
including an ongoing small business recruitment and retention program, strategies for adaptive reuse and
redevelopment of vacant properties, development of recreation and public amenities, updating the tourism plan,
and implementing improvements to town entry corridors.

Physical Improvements in Downtown Area 

The Town of Pulaski has seen a dramatic increase in economic development activity recently, as businesses and
investors rehabilitate vacant buildings and open new businesses in the downtown area. Investors have added
improvements to the historic Calfee Park baseball stadium, the Jackson Park Inn and Al’s on Main, and have
several other development projects underway to rehabilitate buildings and add businesses downtown. These
projects include:
  • West Main Development, LLC rehabilitation of several downtown properties
  • The Town purchasing several Main Street properties to remedy unsafe conditions
  • Investors working to rehabilitate the Dalton Building on Washington Street
  • The Town administers multi-phase EPA Brownfields grant to remedy contamination issues on disused industrial properties in the downtown area
  • The Town administers USDA loan program to repair deteriorating roofs on downtown buildings
  • The opening of several downtown businesses, including MOVA, The Blue Ridge Fudge Lady, and Lizard Licks Snowballs

Downtown Focused Organizations

The Town of Pulaski has contracted with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce to begin the process of
becoming a designated ‘Virginia Main Street’ community, which provides resources and support for towns
working to revitalize their historic commercial districts. The Chamber staffs the ‘Pulaski on Main’ organization
as the non-profit that will work to meet the requirements necessary to apply for Virginia Main Street program.
Currently, Pulaski on Main coordinates monthly meetings of downtown merchants to discuss important issues
for downtown businesses, coordinates training and technical assistance workshops for downtown businesses,
and provides marketing support through ‘Buy Local’ campaigns, online promotion and marketing, and
information for visitors at their Main Street office. Similarly, the Town of Pulaski has contracted with the Pulaski
Chamber of Commerce to administer the ‘Marketplace’ farmers market, which includes local vendors of
produce, crafts, and other goods, as well as music and other special events.

Small Business Development Support

Beans and Rice, Inc. offers several small business support resources, focused on developing entrepreneurial
skills of low-income residents of Pulaski County. Beans and Rice offers programs to develop financial literacy
and small business support services, including the MicroSolutions loan fund program, entrepreneurship training
workshops, and one-on-one consultations and technical assistance on a variety of topics to support the success
of small businesses in Pulaski County. Recently, Beans and Rice coordinated the ‘Launch Something Pulaski’
program, which provided small business development training program to local entrepreneurs hoping to start
a small business. Ten finalists competed for $45,000 in prizes to help launch their businesses, with at least five
businesses opening or planning to open stores in downtown Pulaski as a result. Beans and Rice has begun
fundraising for another round of the program in 2017.

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