Richmond Main Street Works to Revitalize Downtown

From left to right: Johnasies McGraw, RMSI consultant; Amanda Elliott, RMSI Executive Director; Janet Johnson, City of Richmond Business Specialist; and Vaneese Johnson, Entrepreneur and Small Business Consultant.

By Post Staff For nearly 12 years, The Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI) has been a catalyst for change in the city. The community-based nonprofit has revitalized downtown Richmond, offering community events and programs that celebrate the rich history of the community, such as the Music on the Main summer concert series. Under the leadership of Executive Director Amanda Elliott, the organization has flourished. She had worked hard to build strong relationships within the community and garnered support from the community. The nonprofit successfully launched the Downtown Richmond Property and Business Improvement District (DRPBID), approved by district property owners and the City Council in July. The first district of its kind to pass in Contra Costa County, it will be managed by RMSI for the next 5 years, focusing on keeping the area clean, safe, and attracting more businesses. The group also encourages local entrepreneurs through small business workshops and summer youth entrepreneur program with Richmond YouthWORKS. A recent Small Business Bootcamp connected over a dozen business experts with participants to share knowledge, strategies, and business ideas for operating small businesses in Richmond. “Richmond Main Street has been instrumental in creating increased synergy between the city and community,” said Elliott, who is a member of several community initiatives including the City of Richmond Economic Development Commission. “Our community events, programs and services have helped to improve the overall image of the district.  Thousands of people visit downtown every year to attend our Music on the Main Concerts, Spirit & Soul and Holiday Festivals, Healthy Village Farm Stand and Art in Windows art walks,” she said. Those who visit downtown Richmond on Macdonald Avenue, will no doubt be struck by the visual and physical improvements. Elliott believes the area is on an “upward trajectory.” She invites everyone to get involved with the revitalization and renewal efforts underway. Richmond Main Street seeks donations and volunteers to help with events and programs. For more information, visit www.richmondmainstreet.org or call (510) 236-4049.
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