Lincolnton was among 27 communities statewide to have achieved accreditation from the National Main Street Program for 2013, the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday afternoon.
Those qualifying municipalities had to meet the commercial-district-revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, officials with the Commerce Department’s Office of Urban Development noted in a press release.
The National Main Street Center and its partners annually announce the list of accredited programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the “Main Street Four Point Approach” methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.
The other recognized cities and towns included Albemarle, Brevard, Burlington, Clayton, Concord, Elizabeth City, Elkin, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Goldsboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, Kings Mountain, Lenoir, Lexington, Marion, Monroe, Morganton, Salisbury, Shelby, Smithfield, Statesville, New Bern, Wake Forest, Waynesville and Wilson.
“Each of these communities has established a strong organizational foundation that is benefiting them in their efforts to implement complex downtown-revitalization initiatives,” said Liz Parham, director of the Office of Urban Development.
The Office of Urban Development, the N.C. Main Street Center and the national center evaluate the performance of each participating local program every year to identify those that meet 10 performance standards, which measure a town or city’s application of the Four Point Approach.
“Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings,” officials said.
Lincolnton has been nationally accredited each year since 1999, having become a Main Street organization in the mid-90s.
“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,” said Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center, in a statement. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the downtown in the economy head on, and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”
Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts and has been working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 32 years.
While communities voluntarily choose to apply for the program, they certainly may reap some benefits from their participation.
The Main Street program over the years has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment, according to the release. Participating communities have created 473,535 net jobs and 109,693 net businesses and rehabilitated more than 236,418 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district-revitalization efforts.