BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont town of Bennington has renewed its designated downtown status for another five years.

The designation allows the town to assess a tax from businesses located within the district and the money is used to support the downtown.

The designation also opens up opportunities for the town to receive grant money.

The Bennington Banner reports Bennington was one of the first towns in Vermont to earn a designation, receiving it in 1999. There are now 28 Vermont communities with designated downtowns.

The Downtown Bennington Alliance, formerly known as the Better Bennington Corp., receives the tax money collected by the town. The organization's mission is to "build, improve and support" the downtown.