Smyth County

Southwest Virginia town sees downtown growth

MARION, Va. - A town in Southwest Virginia is seeing big growth in their downtown.

President of Marion Downtown Growth, James McNeil, tells us they have cut down building vacancy from 17 percent to less than 6 percent.

He tells us they've added several new businesses, including pub-like restaurants.

McNeil says they are in the process of bringing in an antique emporium.

He tells us downtown growth is vital to a town's success. "When people look to move or stay in an area, they really enjoy a strong downtown, a vibrant downtown, where there are small shops and small restaurants rather than the big chains," he said.

McNeil says they are talking with new businesses who want to come in the downtown area. He also tells us the hardest part is finding them the best location because there are fewer vacancies.

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