Gloucester Main Street Receives Statewide Award for Business Support

Virginia Main Street awarded the 2021 Merit Award for Best Business Support Program to Gloucester Main Street Association and Main Street Preservation Trust for stimulating over $350,000 in expenditures downtown

Virginia Main Street’s most recent recipient of their Best Business Support Program Merit Award is Gloucester Main Street Association and Main Street Preservation Trust for two of their efforts in 2021: Downtown Dollars and Passport to Gloucester Village.


“While we are beyond honored to be recognized for this award, especially out of all the great Main Street communities in Virginia, this award really belongs to this town. Our Gloucester community is the winner of this award because it’s our residents who are the ones that are supportive of our Main Street businesses,” said Jennifer Haggerty, Executive Director of Gloucester Main Street Association.


Supporting new and existing small businesses, and the individuals who operate them, represents a vital aspect of a vibrant downtown economy. Strategies to foster that vibrancy require a community wide commitment to supporting a holistic ecosystem of entrepreneurship that retains businesses, while also promoting opportunities for expansion and for new businesses and entrepreneurs to join the mix.


“Thanks to the folks who came together in 2021 to support our programs and downtown businesses, we are proud to say that Gloucester Village continues to be a thriving, vibrant downtown with endless opportunities. This state award is only possible because of the leadership of downtown business owners and the support of locals who invest their dollars in our downtown community,” said Cristie Thomas, Executive Director of Main Street Preservation Trust.


In response to the detrimental impacts of COVID-19, the accredited Main Street program leaders – Gloucester Main Street Association and Main Street Preservation Trust – maintained a strong response even in 2021 in support of the downtown business community. The two successful programs that inspired the statewide Merit Award together stimulated over $350,000 in expenditures downtown.


Downtown Dollars is a custom-built e-commerce platform that allows shoppers to buy vouchers for all retail, restaurant and personal service businesses on Main Street, which stimulated an infusion of nearly $150,000 of expenditures in the district. Thanks to generous gifts by donors, for every dollar spent on a voucher, an additional 30% of spending was made possible, and over 400 local hospital health care workers received $100 gift certificates.


Passport to Gloucester Village was a three-month promotion to curtail road construction inconveniences and spur holiday-level spending through the typically slow winter months, engaging shoppers to visit, spend and earn “passport” stamps from participating local businesses. After receiving 10 stamps, shoppers could enter to win monthly drawings to win gift certificates. The total number of completed passports turned in was over 1,001 and stimulated over $200,000 of expenditures.


To learn more about Gloucester Main Street Association, Main Street Preservation Trust, or downtown Gloucester, visit

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