Mount Airy will maintain its National Main Street Accreditation for another year, according to a statement released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The National Main Street Center program, which is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, cited 44 communities in North Carolina for economic vitality and following best practices for historic preservation and revitalization.
“I’m really proud of this status because it recognizes the hard work of all our volunteers who care so passionately about downtown,” said Lizzie Morrison, coordinator of Mount Airy Downtown Inc. (MAD), the organization which received the accreditation.
In existence for three years, MAD has been accredited for the past two years.
“Being accredited so early in the Main Street program often isn’t the case and shows we work very hard towards higher expectations for downtown,” Morrison said.
“I don’t anticipate our program losing this status. We’re firing on all cylinders. The energy downtown along with our preservation efforts only continue to gain momentum.”
To achieve the status, communities are evaluated according to 10 standards of performance that include fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
Accreditation helps to provide visibility to programs using their approach, provide national standards for those programs and provide realistic goals and a tangible incentive for local Main Street programs that do not yet meet the criteria, according to information provided by Main Street America.
“We are experiencing an exciting era for America’s cities and towns, with a growing recognition of the importance of strong local enterprise, distinctive character, engaged residents, and sense of place,” Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.
“These are things that Main Street America programs have been working to protect and advance for years, strengthening the economic, social, and cultural fabric of communities across the country.”
The Main Street program in the state has generated $2.3 billion in private and public investment since 1980.
In 2015, Main Street downtown districts generated 228 net new businesses, 82 business expansions, 258 net new jobs, 282 facade rehabilitations and 215 building rehabilitations.
Locally, “big things are happening downtown right now and continued economic growth is on the horizon,” Morrison said.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.