The Tennessee Department of Economic Development announced today Sweetwater, located in McMinn and Monroe Counties, has achieved Tennessee Main Street certification. The community joins 26 other Tennessee Main Street communities that are certified through the state program and accredited by the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Some of Tennessee’s best assets lie in our unique culture, heritage and geographic diversity,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “The Main Street Program highlights communities who are diligently working to create vibrant downtowns that encourage business development and tourism, qualities valued both by industries already located here and by those considering Tennessee as their next location. I congratulate Sweetwater on this great accomplishment.”
“Sweetwater is the first community to graduate from the Tennessee Downtowns program and pursue Main Street designation,” Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan said. “They have invested time and resources into making downtown a great place and I look forward to seeing the effort continue to grow.”
"Sweetwater is a special place and the Main Street designation confirms that,” Sweetwater Mayor Doyle Lowe said. “Thank you to all the merchants, city staff, and volunteers who helped in this process. We are very excited to be part of this elite group of cities."
"We are thrilled to be a Tennessee Main Street! A lot of people worked hard to get Sweetwater to this place and it is a milestone for our community,” Sweetwater Main Street Chairman Jim Stutts said. “Thanks to Commissioner Hagerty and Director Todd Morgan for their confidence and the opportunity to make a great place even better."
Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and guidance for communities in developing common sense solutions to make downtowns safe, appealing, vibrant places where folks want to shop, live and make memories.
In 2012, certified Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created 604 new jobs.
Sweetwater’s designation is based upon a successful application submitted by the city of Sweetwater. The Tennessee Main Street Program application requires communities to illustrate a strong commitment to a Main Street Program from city/county government, an adequate organizational budget, a commitment to hire staff, a strong historic preservation ethic, a collection of historic buildings and a walkable, historic commercial district.
There are currently 27 certified Main Street program communities across Tennessee: Bristol, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville,
Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Lebanon, Leiper’s Fork, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Rogersville, Sweetwater, Tiptonville, Savannah, Union City and Ripley.