Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced that the communities of Clifton, Greenfield, Portland, Tracy City, Waynesboro and White Bluff have been selected to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program. In its third round of participants, Tennessee Downtowns is a competitive community improvement program for cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts.
“Congratulations to each of the six communities selected to participate in this round of Tennessee Downtowns,” Mr. Hagerty said. “A thriving commercial district can be an excellent driver of economic growth in our rural communities, and we are pleased to recognize those that are committed to reviving the downtown business area in their locale.”
Tennessee Downtowns is a tiered program affiliated with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s Tennessee Main Street Program. Communities selected to participate in Tennessee Downtowns will form a volunteer committee of local citizens who will participate in a multi-month training curriculum supported by the National Main Street Center. The curriculum is designed to teach citizens about comprehensive, sustainable downtown revitalization and historic preservation. The training includes webinars, workshops and a $15,000 reimbursable grant to complete individualized downtown development projects.
The six selected communities are each home to downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and have demonstrated their readiness to organize efforts for downtown revitalization based on the successful “Main Street Four-Point Approach to Downtown Revitalizationtm.” The highly competitive selection process was based on five core criteria: historic resources, need (economic and physical), demonstrated local effort, overall presentation and probability of success.