Community Development

Keep it





Housing Initiative

Parking Garage

Planter Program

Grow 2.0 Entrepreneurship

Keep It Local Directory

The Charleston Area Alliance and other local partners created #KeepItLocalKV to revitalize and rebuild the Kanawha Valley through a community-based campaign that encourages residents, businesses, and organizations, both large and small, to support and do business with other local and regional businesses.

Consider the local businesses or check out our list of Alliance members the next time you’re in need of professional service, going out to eat, or looking to pick up a gift!

The initiative is made possible by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

Downtown Charleston

The Charleston Area Alliance’s Downtown Charleston initiative stems from the Imagine Charleston Downtown Redevelopment Plan. Charleston’s downtown district is the commercial and cultural heart of the Kanawha Valley. With its mix of shops, restaurants, offices, museums, festivals, parks, architecture and growing residential enclaves, Downtown Charleston brings people together from all walks of life for a wide range of activities.

Downtown Open

Each summer, Downtown Charleston turns the sidewalks into a pop-up putt-putt course. The 2021 Downtown Open, sponsored by City National Bank and FestivALL Charleston, takes place June 18-July 6.

The temporary course will be set up along the sidewalks of downtown Charleston with each hole sponsored and customized by a local business or organization. Putters and balls will be available at the following downtown businesses:  Taylor Books, Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille, Art Emporium and Tony the Tailor. 

Holiday Window Display Contest

This friendly holiday competition encourages downtown businesses to decorate their storefronts during the holiday shopping season. In 2020, the Charleston Area Alliance partnered with the City of Charleston, Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Charleston Mainstreets to expand the contest citywide as part of the Support Small CWV campaign.

Downtown Housing Initiative

Downtown housing is essential to vibrant, successful communities, and attracting and retaining talent and residents of all ages. The Charleston Area Alliance partnered with Bowen National Research to conduct a housing study for downtown Charleston, West Virginia.

Grow 2.0 Entrepreneurship Program

GROW is an entrepreneurial “boot camp” that connects local small business owners to the people and resources they need to grow their businesses. The program is designed to foster entrepreneurship in the Kanawha Valley.

Participants participate in a variety of classes and activities that offer entrepreneurs education, support and networking building through:

  • Monthly lectures led by local leaders and successful business people
  • One-on-one business coaching
  • Entrepreneur peer-group meetings with GROW 2.0 classmates

Charleston in Bloom

Charleston In Bloom is a beautification project in downtown Charleston. The project was launched in 2020 and now includes the installation of 50 hanging flower boxes on the Dickinson Street and Summers Street parking garages in Downtown Charleston.

Beautification projects like Charleston In Bloom and others not only provide “good looks” for Charleston’s downtown but increase community engagement, tourism and visitors, and is a conduit for attracting businesses and talent to our city. 

Special thank you to our funders and partners:  Kanawha Garden Club, CRC Foundation, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, City of Charleston, Ben Franklin Career and Technical School and Bernard H and Blanche E Jacobson Foundation. 

Beautification projects like Charleston’s Parking Planter Program and others not only provide “good looks” for Charleston’s downtown but increase community engagement, tourism and visitors, and is a conduit for attracting businesses and talent to our city. 

Connect with Our Community Development Team

Our community development team works diligently to increase our natural and built assets through sustainable and smart growth initiatives.

Susie Salisbury