Tifton Gazette

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June 26, 2014

Main Street earns 2014 accreditation

TIFTON —

The Tifton-Tift County Main Street Program has received 2014 National Main Street accreditation.

"Attaining accreditation from the National Main Street Program gives downtown Tifton a sense of commitment," says Lequrica Gaskins, Tifton's economic development director for the Main Street program. "This is the highest level of recognition a downtown community can receive, and the accreditation confers the honor of both national and state accreditation."

She said to receive national and state accredited status, a community must reach the Main Street criteria standards each year and must have successfully completed the services provided by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

According to a press release, each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach.

“Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit," said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 34 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $59.6 billion in new public and private investment.

Participating communities have created 502,728 net new jobs and 115,381 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 246,158 buildings, leveraging an average of $33.28 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

"We are pleased to see how downtown Tifton has proactively addressed planning and built partnerships with local organizations and state officials with the mission of expanding its leadership base to be an effective instrument for implementing a comprehensive revitalization strategy," Gaskins said.

She added, "Downtowns are the symbol of community pride across the country and represent the highest concentration of small businesses within the nation. The National Main Street movement is an incremental approach to community revitalization and economic growth that begins with local commitment to strategic downtown planning."

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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