|RALEIGH -- The N.C. Department of Commerce announced today that five new communities have been chosen to participate in the Office of Urban Development’s 2012 Small Town Main Street program. Cherryville, Elizabethtown, Richlands, Saluda and Spencer were selected through a competitive application process that included ten communities from across the state. Designation of these five new towns brings the total number of the state’s Small Town Main Street communities to 44.
“We congratulate these communities for their commitment to their downtown districts and the small businesses that are located there,” said Keith Crisco, N.C. Secretary of Commerce. “These cities and towns understand that a prosperous, sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.”
Small Town Main Street, which began in eastern North Carolina in 2003 and was expanded to include the entire state in 2007, provides downtown revitalization assistance to selected smaller towns (under 7,500 in population) that lack the resources to pursue the N.C. Main Street program.
“It’s just as important to recognize the economic opportunities offered in North Carolina’s smaller towns,” said Liz Parham, director of urban development at the N.C. Department of Commerce, which oversees the N.C. Main Street program. “These communities and their leaders work hard to bring jobs and businesses to their downtowns, which strengthens their entire community. Our Small Town Main Street program provides communities with the tools and resources to accomplish their goals.”
Participating communities receive two years of concentrated, monthly on-site technical services from Small Town Main Street staff. Following the initial two-year period, communities may choose to continue in the program, receiving more limited services on an as needed basis.
Small Town Main Street, like the N.C. Main Street program, utilizes the Four-Point Approach® methodology, a comprehensive downtown revitalization process focused on organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring that was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center®.
For more information about the Small Town Main Street program, visit www.nccommerce.com/MainStreet, or contact Liz Parham, director of the Office of Urban Development, at (919) 571-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.