City’s Morrison named to state downtown board

By Bill Colvard -
Morrison - Submitted photo

Mount Airy’s Main Street coordinator has been elected to the board of directors of North Carolina Downtown Development Association (NCDDA).

Lizzie Morrison, of Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. was elected to serve through 2020 as the Western Piedmont regional director to NCDDA.

Julie Metz, NCDDA president, stated at the 2018 Downtown Day event in Raleigh, “Downtowns, large and small, play a vital role in our economy and are integral to our ability to attract and retain entrepreneurs, small businesses, tourism and many other characteristics and qualities we desire and need to help sustain our communities and the state.”

“This position will provide a way to have a finger on the pulse in Raleigh and how it will affect downtown,” said Morrison, who has been the Main Street coordinator for the past five years.

“It feels like a long time and no time at all,” she said.

Looking back, Morrison said, “In just five years we’ve tracked over $14.2 million dollars in private investment and $1.1 million dollars in public investment within the downtown district in Mount Airy. We’ve had a net gain of 67 full-time jobs and 51 part-time jobs downtown. We’ve had 12 new public improvement projects, 19 new housing units, 14 business expansions, 59 façade improvements, and 37 building rehabilitation projects.

“Our volunteers have given over 14,436 volunteer hours to grow and better our community. Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. is committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization.”

In joining the NCDDA Board of Directors, Morrison hopes to continue her dedication to historic preservation work at the state level. “It is important to me to advocate for programs and policies, such as the North Carolina Historic Tax Credit Program, that provide a vehicle to saving our historic structures while revitalizing our community.”

According to Morrison, the Historic Tax Credit Program is due to sunset in 2019, and though the program has been routinely renewed in the past each time it was due to sunset, she is not willing to take for granted that it will happen this time.

“By working collectively with NCDDA, we can make sure they are reinstated,” she said.

“Big things are happening in Mount Airy, and our future is looking bright. We are at a pivotal moment of growth in Mount Airy. I am honored to work with colleagues around the state to help keep us on a path of success.”

Those colleagues will have a chance to see the city in person when Mount Airy hosts the NCDDA board’s next retreat. The 20 members will spend two days touring the town and its projects, both completed and projected.

She added, “I feel extremely fortunate that we have such a great group of professionals willing to volunteer their time, talents and expertise to the work needed to protect, develop and enhance our North Carolina downtowns.”

Morrison Submitted photo

By Bill Colvard

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.