The South Huntsville Business Association was initially formed in 2016 to support, promote, and advocate for businesses due to the significant impact of the planned major roadway improvements on South Parkway. Now that this project is nearing an end SBHA is shifting its focus to capitalizing on community assets connectivity within the proposed district. The leadership of the association realized the Four Point Approach utilized by Main Street Alabama programs could be applied to their commercial district successfully to achieve these much broader goals.
After two site visits by Main Street Alabama staff members Mary Helmer and Trisha Black, focused on organzation and promotion, the South Huntsville Business Association articulated their main goal for their commercial district was "developing a sense of place" and connecting the business assets and recreational opportunities to their residential areas. This connectivity has been identified by the group as a key point that will take their district to the next level.
South Huntsville Business Association joined the Network at the end of 2016 and immediately began to garner local support to become a Designated Program. Representatives attended a Main Street Alabama application workshop in January 2018 and hosted a public meeting to inform the community about the Designation process. This Spring, the group completed the application, which required an extensive understanding of the commercial district, began fundraising and secured a city appropriation for the program. The South Huntsville team then made a presentation to the selection committee in Birmingham in May. The community was scored and the Main Street Alabama Board of Directors voted to make them a Designated Community. On June 1, Main Street Alabama made the official announcement.
The South Huntsville program will use the UrbanMain concept, a process with strategies that will address challenges unique to communities with a larger population.