Main Street Alabama expands program adding 3 new communities

Posted on Jun 01, 2018


Immediate Release - June 1, 2018


Contact: Marylon Barkan



According to Mary Helmer, President and State Coordinator for the statewide program, Main Street Alabama will begin by providing intensive board development, training with work plans and goals, market-based transformation strategies, targeted technical assistance, as well as additional services related to downtown and neighborhood commercial district development to develop a unique asset-based approach for revitalization.  “When a district is ready for Main Street, as these are, our economic development program works,” Helmer said.  “It brings jobs, dollars and people back to historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.”   Helmer added that the interview panel was impressed by the heartfelt community presentations that demonstrated a love of their districts, a vision for what they could be and the drive to make it happen.


Main Street programs work in four areas: organization, design, promotion and economic vitality, each guided by their unique transformation strategy to remain focused on a specific market-based outcome.  “Main Street program goals are developed to suit each community and their conditions,” stated Helmer.  “While analyzing and tying our efforts back to market data is critical to the revitalization effort, cultivating the necessary relationships with stakeholders is the key to long term success.  The power of Main Street is working to bring everyone to the table to achieve a common goal.”  


Foley, Scottsboro, and South Huntsville join Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Heflin, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Jasper, Opelika, Oxford and Wetumpka in using Main Street's comprehensive and incremental approach.  Each Designated community listed above reports their success by tracking their reinvestment statistics.  Main Street Alabama’s Designated communities have reported 488 net new businesses, 1,932 net new jobs, $282,679,772 in private investment, $74,257,229 in public improvements, and 61,201 volunteer hours in their districts collectively since June of 2014. 


Main Street Alabama is the State Coordinating Program for Main Street America and is celebrating its 5thAnniversary as a private non-profit this year.  Highlights of five years include growing the program to 23 Designated Communities and cultivating over 30 Network Communities, speaking at the White House Convening on Placemaking, recipient of a nationally competitive placemaking training and subsequent crowdfunding challenge, winning an Innovation on Main Street Award and launching the third pilot program in the country for UrbanMain. “Main Street Alabama is back and stronger than ever, providing dedicated leadership, technical assistance, outcome-focused programming, and invaluable organizing capacity to the Designated Main Street programs across the state. Since its return, Main Street Alabama has already made impressive progress and we know the best is yet to come,”‚Äč stated Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center (Main Street America). 


Main Street Alabama will continue to add new communities annually.  Application Workshops to become a Designated Community will be held again in January 2019. Until then, communities interested in downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Network.


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Main Street is a unique preservation based economic development program.