Recommendations to Facilitate Economic Change

Patterned on the National Main Street ‘Four Point’ approach to downtown revitalization, the following recommendations build on existing efforts to revitalize downtown, attract visitors, and support small business success in Pulaski.

Organization

  • Obtain and Maintain Virginia Main Street designation
  • Meet regularly with downtown merchants and property owners to address business needs
  • Coordinate downtown district strategies through regular meetings of Pulaski on Main, Chamber of
    Commerce, Town and County economic development staff, and regional organizations.

  • Coordinate regional small business training programs to improve accessibility and convenience for
    county businesses. Compile database of online training materials and resources for small business service
    providers.

  • Manage referrals to business development resources in the New River Valley, including marketing
    assistance, financing, and peer networks.
  • Convene monthly management team meetings to review progress on downtown revitalization activities
    and maintain Pulaski Rising planning process.


​Design

  • Implement Community Improvement Grant downtown improvement projects.
  • Improve directional signage to downtown district and outdoor recreation amenities.
  • Implement walking trail designs proposed in the Pulaski Downtown Revitalization Master Plan with funding
    through VDOT ‘Transportation Alternatives’ or other programs.
  • Facilitate sale or redevelopment of vacant commercial properties in collaboration with owners and
    potential investors targeting the buildings listed in the Pulaski Redevelopment and Renewal Plan and the
    Pulaski Downtown Revitalization Master Plan.
  • Implement roadway improvements to facilitate access to downtown areas and pedestrian safety.
  • Review and update zoning regulations and implement an overlay zoning district for downtown to
    promote design guidelines and target incentive programs to businesses. Options include tourism zones,
    historic zones/designations, or other downtown improvement districts.


Promotion

  • Create an online tool to promote available commercial properties for lease or sale.
  • Participate in outdoor recreation tradeshows and events in collaboration with Pulaski County Chamber
    of Commerce and local outdoor recreation businesses.
  • Implement Town of Pulaski branding system developed by Arnett Muldrow.
  • Maintain downtownpulaski.org website as a resource for downtown development efforts and connect to
    existing Pulaski and regional social media accounts.
  • Connect Southwest Virginia tourism promotion websites and resources.
  • Update and implement Pulaski County Tourism Strategic Plan.
  • Promote annual events downtown in coordination with sales and promotions at local businesses.
  • Conduct a familiarization tour for tourism staff and tourist-serving businesses around the region to visit
    the town and learn about local amenities and businesses.
  • Provide marketing assistance to tourism-serving businesses, including training workshops and
    opportunities to participate in cooperative ad-buys.
  • Implement marketing campaigns to promote events and tourism. Target markets include residents and
    visitors to other New River Valley communities, especially university communities, and outdoor
    recreation tourists.


Economic Vitality

  • Promote business development training resources to local businesses.
  • Initiate a business recruitment strategy to encourage business investment in downtown and target
    business sectors.
  • Target grant, loan, and incentive programs to property owners in downtown areas to upgrade buildings
    or invest in new business development.
  • Maintain guide for starting a business in Pulaski, including information on local businesses that can provide
    goods or services.
  • Promote entrepreneurship and small business development in Pulaski County through entrepreneurship
    workshops, business plan competitions, youth entrepreneurship programs, and promotion of success
    stories of local small businesses.
  • Promote downtown residential development through updates to the zoning regulations to allow
    residential units in upper floors of downtown buildings and marketing to regional target markets.
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