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B.J. Drye Column: Let’s keep the #myalbemarle momentum going

Albemarle learned its fate Tuesday in the “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” competition.

The city did not make it to the top 10 in the communities vying for a $500,000 revitalization.

It will not be featured in an eight-part web series streaming worldwide on the internet, Hulu and YouTube.

We’re not No. 1.

But this time, it’s not so bad being left out.

Sure the exposure and the money would have been great, but do we really want to be known as having a downtown that is in that dire need of help?

This must tell us that we are doing something right.

We have new businesses coming to town, while at the same time sustaining older businesses.

“I will say that being in the running for this program created a lot of excitement in our community, and I think we can keep that momentum going with or without the cameras rolling,” said Joy Almond, Main Street manager and director of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation.

“Although #myalbemarle did not advance, it was still an honor to have placed in the Top 20 out of almost 12,000 applicants,” Almond added. “To everyone who supported the effort, we thank you, and would love for you to keep the positivity and momentum going.”

Mayor Ronnie Michael thanked Heather Britt of Music On Main for nominating Albemarle for the national competition.

While the mayor said the city was disappointed in not making the top 10, he added that the process has “shown us the support we have in our city.”

“The comments received have been positive and everyone is looking forward to changes coming to our downtown,” Michael said. “After the holidays we will see those changes, starting with the new Pfeiffer building. We look forward to working with developers to bring change to our community.”

Almond and Michael are both correct.

We can keep the momentum going.

We just need to know where we are headed.

If we were to win the $500,000, what would we have put it toward?

We could have used it to renovate one of our historic sites such as the Albemarle Opera House or the Alameda Theatre.

We could have used it as incentive to begin the culinary school in downtown that Stanly Community College wanted.

What would you like to see in downtown Albemarle?

What would draw in tourists?

What would bring in future residents?

Send an email to bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com and let us know what #myalbemarle needs.

For that matter, what does Stanly County need? Send your thoughts in on that as well.

To those towns who did make it to the top 10 — and we know two from North Carolina did make it — let us congratulate them. Let’s support our North Carolina neighbors, for when they win we win as a state.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at 704-982-2123, bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.