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.
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.
Brown Bag Concert Series
The Brown Bag Concert Series is a free weekday lunchtime concert that encourages downtown workers to step outside during their lunch break. The concerts feature local musicians in unique spaces throughout downtown during the summer months. Many restaurants offer lunchtime specials for this fun event.
Businesses and nonprofits in Downtown Charleston turn the sidewalks into a pop-up putt-putt course.
A family-friendly block party with a local mix of live music, food, drinks and activities for all ages. The event is also popular with four-legged friends! Once per year, the Alliance hosts Dogfest- when Streetfest goes to the dogs! This popular event hosts a variety of contests and features local nonprofits to promote adoptions and spay and neutering.
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
Parking Garage Planter Program
The Charleston Parking Planter Program is a beautification project in downtown Charleston. The project was launched in 2020 and included the installation of 22 hanging flower boxes on the Dickinson Street parking garage in Downtown Charleston.
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.