ALBEMARLE — The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced on May 4 that Albemarle is one of 42 communities in the state to receive national accreditation status as a Main Street America program for 2023.
On an annual basis, the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center releases a list of accredited programs throughout the state in order to recognize their commitment to economic development, community revitalization efforts, and achieved level of performance standards.
With its recent honor, the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation’s accreditation status has been renewed for another year — the city was originally added to the NC Main Street program in 1993.
“The recent growth in downtown Albemarle has added excitement to our already-vibrant district,” Joy Almond, City of Albemarle Main Street Manager/liaison for the ADDC, said in a press release. “The programs available through both NC Main Street and Main Street America have been vital to the success of our community, and it is a privilege to once again be recognized as an accredited program.”
During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the ADDC reported a public and private investment of over $17 million in Albemarle’s Municipal Service District. Additionally, five new businesses — along with 10 new full-time and 22 part-time positions — were created over the course of the fiscal year.
“We are very proud to acknowledge this year’s 862 Accredited Main Street America programs and their steadfast dedication to nurture economically and culturally vibrant downtown districts,” said Hannah White, Interim President & CEO of Main Street America. “The increase in the size and impact of our network speaks volumes to the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of local communities and drive innovative solutions.”
In order to meet the parameters for national accreditation status, communities must show a commitment to grassroots revitalization programs and public-private partnerships, as well as the preservation of historic places, spaces and cultural assets.
“The North Carolina Main Street programs have once again met the rigorous standards of the National Main Street Center,” said NC Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our local Main Street programs help drive North Carolina’s economy by working with Commerce’s community developers to increase the economic vitality of their downtown districts, helping attract new jobs, more small businesses, and additional investment across the state.”
Liz Parham, Director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, added: “The list of nationally accredited communities demonstrates the necessary hard work to build sustainable organizations that spur investment, business development, and job creation.”
Historically, NC Main Street programs have leveraged $4.52 billion in private and public investment over the past 43 years; the accredited downtown districts added 301 net new businesses, 1,941 net new jobs, 360 facade rehabilitations, 303 building rehabilitations, and 103,277 recorded volunteer hours last year.
On a national scale, Main Street communities have generated more than $101.58 billion in new public and private investment along with 168,693 net new businesses and 746,897 net new jobs.
Additional information about the program can be found at mainstreet.org.