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Revitalizing strategy planned for Williamson Road economy

"Revitalizing Williamson Strategy"
“Revitalizing Williamson Strategy”

The Business Association of the Greater Williamson Road Area, spearheaded by Executive Director Valerie Brown, is advocating for a strategy to revitalize the economy of Williamson Road. Notable aspects of the plan include obtaining financial grants and promoting local businesses. The Association aims to foster commercial growth by enticing more investors and launching marketing initiatives to highlight unique Williamson Road merchants.

Brown’s team also intends to offer training programs to improve the skills of local workers. Alongside these, they emphasize the need for infrastructural enhancements, including public transportation upgrades and beautified local parks to make Williamson Road more business-friendly and a pleasant residential area.

Valerie Brown envisions Williamson Road becoming a vibrant economic hub, often referring back to its time as ‘the heart of Roanoke.’ The goal is overarching: Revive Williamson Road with pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, small businesses, and tourism. Despite the daunting task, Brown believes that collective efforts could bring the area back to life.

The Association is preparing various grant proposals to achieve this vision, including a significant vitality grant via the Virginia Main Street Grant, specifically to aid a façade project.

Revitalizing Williamson Road’s local economy

Such grants, per Brown, are crucial for revitalization. Simultaneously, another objective involves securing the Thriving Cities Grant, a fund established by numerous local, state, and federal transportation bodies to facilitate road conditions and thereby enhance the community’s quality of life.

Further initiatives focus on collaborating with local businesses to stimulate growth, reflecting the value they have consistently provided to the community. The comprehensive plan also incorporates traffic analysis, environmental impact studies, and investment requirements and will then be submitted to the city council for review. Public meetings will be organized to gather local residents’ input and ensure all stakeholders are included in developing the strategic roadmap.

Once consensus is reached, an application for the Thriving Cities Grant will be submitted. If approved, the grant will support an improved urban landscape and better living conditions for the community. A comprehensive grant proposal is set to be unveiled within the next 18 months, aiming to foster a robust and prospering Williamson Road for the entire community’s benefit.

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