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Almond delivers annual report on Main Street program

Main Street Manager Joy Almond gave her organization’s 2019 annual report on Tuesday, providing updates on downtown buildings and property, investments, jobs, businesses and volunteers to the Albemarle City Council.

Nine projects took place in downtown Albemarle during 2019, Almond said,

JOY ALMOND

with almost $3 million in total investments made.

“Five building facades were redone, and a complete rehabilitation of one building was completed,” she said. “In addition, three other public improvement projects were finished.”

A matching grant program provides up to $1,000, matched dollar for dollar by businesses, for improvements to signage, storefronts and landscaping, and is administered by the Main Street program in conjunction with Albemarle City Council and the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation.

Almond also noted that nearly $3 million, both public and private, have been invested in the city’s downtown district.

“A total of $1,752,335 in public funds, along with $1,175,840 in private investments, have been made,” she said.

A small increase in employment numbers among downtown businesses also took place during 2019.

“Although 13 full-time jobs were created, 10 were lost,” Almond said.

“We also had a net loss of one part-time job,” she said, citing that while five new part-time slots were gained, a total of six others were dropped.

This virtually flat employment trend reflected the business fortunes of the downtown district as well, with a total of eight new business openings and one expansion, countered by a loss of six firms.

Various programs, celebrations, meetings, and special events held in the city’s downtown attracted numerous volunteers, according to Almond.

“Volunteers provided 351 hours of service to us in 2019, and at the estimated value of $24.19 per hour in North Carolina (according to independentsector.org), this amounts to $8,491 of donated labor,” she said.

Almond also reported that the organization’s four committees (economic vitality, design, promotion and organization) are nearly full, with 10 of 13 available slots filled.

For further information on the Main Street Program, visit the Albemarle Downtown Development website at www.albemarledowntown.com or call 704-984-9415.

Toby Thorpe is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.