By Rebecca Adcock
By March, the worst of winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run, and the world would wake into itself again. ~ Neil Gaiman
March always seems like an ethereal world to me. How one day, everything is brown, dead, and drab and the next, it is an explosion of greens. The world is waking again. This spring, we are starting to see COVID restrictions easing, and events once again being scheduled.
As we close the books on winter, and the first quarter of the year, the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce has been working on many projects.
We partnered with the Patrick County Economic Development Authority (EDA), Reynolds Homestead, and the West Piedmont Planning District to submit a grant with the Citizens Institute of Rural Design. If successful, we will host a community workshop focusing on the redevelopment of the downtown Stuart area. This area was awarded the State Historic Designation on March 18. It will be recommended for national designation as well.
With the dual historic designations, tax credits for building rehabilitation will be available. We feel this is the first step in redevelopment of that area for our town and county.
March also saw the acceptance into the inaugural class of PCA Business Builders. This 8-week boot camp will equip the applicants with knowledge they need to open a successful business right here in Patrick County. We look forward to seeing these students develop their business plans and create an opportunity for themselves.
The chamber also helped to host the meeting for the Stuart Farmers’ Market vendors. The market season opens the first Friday in May (May 7th, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.).
The news of HanesBrands closing the Woolwine facility is a detriment to that community and our county. The chamber has been working with Virginia Career Works to find comparable, local replacement opportunities for the employees. Thankfully, there are many local companies currently hiring, and the chamber posts those to our Facebook page each week.
As we move into April, the chamber is continuing to work on a couple more grants. We also are gearing up to host our Professional Headshot Day on Saturday, April 10, and all month long, we will be promoting the annual ‘Pick Up Patrick’ – retooled this year into ‘Pick Up for a Picnic in Patrick.’
As always, we encourage people to get out there and pick up roadside trash. As an incentive, everyone who posts their roadside pickups to the chamber’s Facebook page will be entered to win gift cards for local restaurants. Use your gift card for a picnic at one of our local parks or use one of the picnic tables that the Patrick County Leadership group installed at the restaurants.
We also have other prizes that were donated by the Chamber, Patrick County Tourism and Keep Virginia Beautiful. If you have any questions, call the chamber at 276-694-6012.