Raleigh, N.C.

The North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the North Carolina Department of Commerce has announced that 46 North Carolina communities have been designated a 2022 Accredited Main Street America™ program. This accreditation status is Main Street America’s top-tier recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and a proven track record of successfully developing an asset based economic development strategy, and implementation through the Main Street Four-Point Approach™.

“We are proud of our North Carolina Main Street programs that have met the criteria for National Main Street Center,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “North Carolina’s economy depends on the thriving downtowns that support the overall vitality of their Main Street communities. This achievement is the result of the diligent work of these programs that help fuel prosperity across the entire state.”

The following N.C. Main Street communities that have earned accreditation for their 2021 performance: Albemarle, Asheboro, Belmont, Bessemer City, Boone, Brevard, Burlington, Cherryville, Clinton, Concord, Dunn, Eden, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Elkin, Fuquay-Varina, Goldsboro, Henderson, Hendersonville, Hickory, Laurinburg, Lenoir, Lexington, Lumberton, Marion, Monroe, Mooresville, Morehead City, Morganton, Mount Airy, New Bern, Newton, Reidsville, Roanoke Rapids, Roxboro, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Statesville, Sylva, Tarboro, Tryon, Valdese, Wake Forest, Washington, and Wilson. 

The performance standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street community’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets. Each designated NC Main Street community evaluated annually by the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet rigorous national performance standards. Visit National Main Street Accreditation to learn more about the standards.

“We are thrilled to acknowledge this year’s accredited programs and their dedication to advancing economic opportunity and quality of life in their downtowns,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During another incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of their communities. I am inspired by their steadfast leadership and innovative solutions to drive essential local recovery efforts, support small businesses, and nurture vibrant downtown districts.”

“The N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center is honored to recognize this year’s accredited communities. These communities have worked hard to build sustainable organizations and have implemented transformational projects that are creating rich, vibrant districts. We commend these communities and their volunteers on the work they have accomplished in their downtown districts and look forward to seeing their continued success,” said Liz Parham, Director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center.”

Main Street America is a movement that has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 40 years. It is the leading voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization across the country. Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, Main Street America represents the broad diversity that makes this country so unique. Working together, the programs that make up the Main Street America network help to breathe new life into the places people call home. 

In 2021, Main Street America programs generated $5.76 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,601 net new businesses, generated 30,402 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,595 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,427,729 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support its operations, it generated $19.34 of new investment back into Main Street communities.

Since 1980, N.C. Main Street communities have leveraged more than $4 billion in public and private investment in their downtown districts, creating more than 30,000 net new jobs and rehabilitating 7,200 buildings.

For more information, visit the N.C. Main Street page here, or contact Liz Parham, director of N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center at 919-814-4658.

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