RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced on Friday, Oct. 7, that grants totaling more than $257,000 through the Virginia Main Street Program will be administered to 16 communities across the state.

The funding will be used to support the revitalization of historic commercial districts, expand small businesses and foster local economies, according to a release from the Governor’s Office.

The Virginia Main Street Program (VMS) provides services and assistance to communities across the commonwealth that are looking to develop and revitalize the economies of their historic commercial districts. VMS follows the model set by the Main Street Approach for community revitalization, which centers around a community’s unique heritage, culture and historic building attributes, the release from the Governor’s Office read.

“For over 30 years, the Virginia Main Street program has been critical to economic development, small business growth and job development through the revitalization and preservation of our historic downtown districts,” the governor said in the release. “I look forward to seeing the economic opportunity that these projects will spark while preserving and utilizing the historic character of their communities as well.”

All funding through the VMS Program is allocated to three types of grants: Downtown Investment Grants, Community Vitality Grants and Financial Feasibility Grants. According to the Governor’s Office, the money can be used to fund completed projects, provide seed funding for new projects or offer gap financing that allows a project to become fully funded.

The Governor’s Office stated in its release that in 2021, state-designated and nationally accredited VMS communities created or retained more than 700 jobs and 221 businesses, as well as generated approximately $76 million in public and private investments.

To see the complete list of projects funded by the VMS Program, visit here.