Albemarle continues Main Street accreditation

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

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Fifty-one North Carolina communities, including Albemarle, have received Main Street America Accreditation status for 2024, the N.C. Department of Commerce announced this week.

The National Main Street America Center and its state coordinating partner, the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center, announce the list of Accredited programs to recognize their commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“I am so proud of our Main Street communities for pursuing excellence in all facets of economic development,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “These communities have worked hard to achieve lasting economic prosperity by honoring diversity, inclusivity, local leadership, community engagement, storytelling, and historic preservation.”

The N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet national performance standards.
These standards provide the Main Street America network with a foundational framework to review progress, recognize strengths, understand trends and identify strategies that move Main Street programs forward.

To quality for Accredited status — Main Street America’s top designation tier — communities must demonstrate alignment with the Main Street Approach and exceptional performance in six areas: broad-based community commitment to revitalization; inclusive leadership and organizational capacity; diversified funding and sustainable program operations; strategy-driven programming; preservation-based economic development; and demonstrated impact and results.

“We are incredibly excited to celebrate this year’s 1,188 designated Main Street America programs, and their remarkable efforts to reenergize their local economies and public spaces,” said Main Street America President and CEO Erin Barnes. “Main Street leaders are visionaries that see things that no one else can see and create the future world we all want to live in. The size and impact of our network demonstrates that great things happen when visions are realized through strategic, grassroots collaboration.”

“The hard work of our nationally accredited communities to build sustainable organizations has really paid off. In FY 2022-23, in our Main Street downtown districts, we saw the highest investment numbers and net new jobs in the history of the program here in North Carolina,” said Liz Parham, Director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. “Our Nationally Accredited programs are leaders in the field of downtown development who are leveraging their local assets and statewide resources to find creative, innovative solutions to community economic development challenges.”

Since 1980, N.C. Main Street programs have leveraged $5.2 billion in private and public investment, creating 35,144 net new jobs and rehabilitating 7,833 buildings. In 2023, N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street downtown districts leveraged $684 million in public and private investment, 365 net new businesses, 2,969 net new jobs, 427 façade improvements, 331 building rehabilitations, and recorded 128,087 volunteer hours, valued at more than $3.8 million in time.

Albemarle has been a member of the Main Street program since 1993.