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B1 Featured Story: Tazewell Today

‘Small Businesses are coming back to Small Town’s Main Street’


 

Areas all over Southwest Virginia are revitalizing their downtowns.
Even areas specifically impacted by the coal industry.

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There is usually a spark – that one individual who decides to do something.

That spark creates a conversation that launches a movement.

All over Southwest Virginia, rural communities are fighting back.

Rural Retreat is rallying around their historic depot.

St. Paul continues to gain momentum from its natural beauty and outdoor activities like ATV trails.

Marion, Wytheville, Abingdon and many more communities are showing signs of resilience.

And, the Town of Tazewell has joined the conversation with a loud clear voice.

Each and every community effort started and continues with local initiative.

In Tazewell, two women’s efforts quickly turned into 50 people. And Tazewell Today [1] was launched.

 

Like other successes, Tazewell follows the structure of the National Main Street Program developed by Main Street America [2], which for the past 35 years has led for the development of a national network of over 2,000 historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. The four main points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable community and complete community revitalization effort. They are organization, design, promotion, and economic restructuring.

The success of these efforts in Bristol, Saint Paul, Tazewell and Wytheville has transformed historic main street corridors from abandoned or underutilized historic buildings into local restaurants, shops and office spaces.

For the past year, Tazewell Today impacted a Main Street corridor on the verge of fading away.

Tazewell’s Main Street has the benefit of being the home of the county courthouse and professional law offices that support the courthouse. But there are very few restaurants, shops or other activities existing. A group of local volunteers banded together to form an organization to revitalize Tazewell’s Main Street corridor; Tazewell Today.

 

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Throughout the past year, they have hosted a number of very successful events illustrated under the feasibility study by Hill Studio and the plan they developed has started taking shape.

“On October 19, 2015, Hill Studio presented their preliminary downtown plan for Tazewell Today and the Town of Tazewell. The audience was excited to see the plans and shared Tazewell Today’s enthusiasm for a rejuvenated Main Street.”

 

The mission of Tazewell Today is to create a warm welcoming center that represents the heart of Tazewell and attracts residents and tourists through shopping, dining, working, and playing. This includes nurturing and sharing our natural scenic beauty, and restoring and maintaining the historic landscape of Main Street as a local attraction for a thriving commercial and civic area. See more… [4]

The full presentation can be viewed here [5].

 

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New businesses are opening on Main Street, buildings are being renovated and a new level of enthusiasm exists. (See below: The Retail Therapist [6])

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The firm has been pleased to help them assist in organizing a 501(c)(3) status.

2016 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the town and 2017 is the 125th anniversary of the changing of the name of the town from Jeffersonville to Tazewell. The organization has used both of the anniversaries to galvanize their efforts and focus the public’s attention on the Main Street corridor.

 

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Tazewell Population (2013): 4,543