Towns and cities looking to become a Main Street Alabama community will have the opportunity to learn more about the organization this month.
Athens is currently a Main Street community, but other towns across Limestone County might be looking to learn more about Main Street Alabama.
Officials with the nonprofit organization said communities can learn about a hands-on, proven approach to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts during three workshops.
Main Street Alabama, the state coordinating program under Main Street America, will explain different tiers of membership including the application process of becoming a state-designated community and nationally-accredited Main Street Program.
The workshops take place Tuesday, Jan. 12 in Jasper, Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Foley and Tuesday, Jan. 26 in Athens. The workshops will be from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., and registration is required at www.mainstreetalabama.org through Main Street Alabama.
Mary Helmer Wirth, president and state coordinator, will describe the assistance Main Street Alabama can offer to position revitalization programs for success by implementing the nationally-recognized Main Street Four-Point Approach. Main Street officials consider it a unique economic development tool, saying the Main Street Four-Point Approach is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging their unique assets, from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.
Attendees will also hear from the local Main Street director on the impact Main Street has in their communities.
Foley Main Street Executive Director Darrelyn Dunmore said, “we enjoy the structure of the Four-Point Approach, which is comprised of organization, promotion, economic vitality and design. By working to keep the four points in balance, you will always being moving forward and providing a structured way to approach projects that lead to success.”
Since becoming a designated community in June 2017, Foley has reported 21 net new businesses creating 55 new jobs, $947,053 in public investment and $4,457,074 in private investment in the downtown district, Main Street Marketing and Communications Manager Trisha Black said.
Foley Main Street was also recently awarded Main Street Alabama’s Award of Excellence in Promotion for the organization's Lucky to Love Foley event and in public relations for their Faces of Foley social media campaign, Black said.
Other designated communities, which use the Main Street Alabama approach, include Alexander City, Anniston, Atmore, Athens, Birmingham, Calera, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Florence, Foley, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Headland, Heflin, Historic 4th Avenue Business District in Birmingham, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Jasper, Opelika, Oxford, Scottsboro, South Huntsville and Wetumpka.
Black said the designated communities have reported 698 net new businesses, 2,618 net new jobs, $542,813,074 in private investment, $86,813,178 in public improvements and 114,564 volunteer hours in their districts collectively since June of 2014.
Contact Mary Helmer Wirth, Main Street Alabama president and state coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.