Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced that the communities of Arlington, Carthage, Ducktown, Etowah, Jamestown and Shelbyville have been selected to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program. In its fourth round of participants, Tennessee Downtowns is a competitive community improvement program for cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts.
“Congratulations to the six newest communities joining our Tennessee Downtowns program,” Mr. Hagerty said. “This program offers valuable tools to support downtown revitalization and historic preservation. Strong downtowns create overall economic strength in our state, both encouraging investment from within and attracting fresh commitments to Tennessee.”
“These six communities new to the Tennessee Downtowns program are looking to the future of their historic downtowns, and we look forward to working with them on their revitalization efforts,” Tennessee Main Street Director Nancy Williams said.
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 two-year 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 Revitalization.” 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.
Main Street revitalization is a comprehensive, incremental, self-help economic strategy that also focuses on developing public-private partnerships to enhance community livability and job creation, while maintaining the historic character of the district.
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.