Boone is among the 47 North Carolina communities that the National Main Street Center has designated as accredited Main Street America programs. The North Carolina Department of Commerce made the announcement on Monday. Each year, the National Main Street Center and N.C. Commerce's Main Street & Rural Planning Center partner to announce the list of all accredited Main Street America programs, recognizing exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.
“The Main Street & Rural Planning Center expands our rural and small-town communities' capacity to take on economic development and revitalization projects,” said Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “The communities accredited today have worked with the Center to establish practices that will fuel their efforts to bring jobs and development to their town.”
“We are thrilled to honor this year's 829 nationally accredited Main Street America programs for their commitment to preservation-based economic development and the revitalization of their commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “The power of Main Street shines across the country through these vibrant communities, who have all worked to generate impressive economic returns, preserve community character, and celebrate local history.”
Each community's performance is annually evaluated by the North Carolina Main Street staff in partnership with the National Main Street Center. The staff identifies the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
The following NC communities achieved National Main Street Accreditation in 2018 for work completed in the 2017 calendar year:
Albemarle Lenoir Salisbury
Belmont Lexington Sanford
Boone Lincolnton Shelby
Brevard Lumberton Smithfield
Burlington Marion Spruce Pine
Cherryville Monroe Statesville
Clinton Morehead City Sylva
Concord Morganton Tryon
Edenton Mount Airy Valdese
Elizabeth City New Bern Wake Forest
Elkin Newton Waxhaw
Garner North Wilkesboro Waynesville
Goldsboro Oxford Williamston
Hendersonville Roanoke Rapids Wilson
Kings Mountain Rutherfordton
In fiscal year 2017, North Carolina Main Street programs generated $200 million in local public and private reinvestment, helped open 319 net new businesses, generated 2,000 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 259 buildings, and clocked 139,000 volunteer hours.
“We are proud of our communities that have worked hard to identify economic development strategies to transform their downtown districts through action within the framework of the Main Street Four Point Approach® of Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion and Organization,” said Liz Parham, Director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center.
The North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center provides strategic planning and technical assistance, Main Street program guidance, training and education, including the NC Main Street conference, the state's largest downtown revitalization educational event.
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a national network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, North Carolina communities using the Main Street America program model have leveraged more than $2.75 billion in new public and private investment, generated 23,472 net new jobs and 5,883 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 6,000 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.