Main Street Alabama’s tagline says it all: “Creating Jobs. Keeping Character.” This statewide program works to promote economic development throughout Alabama, in a way that preserves and revitalizes the charming downtown districts that make Alabama communities vibrant and picturesque. This balance between economic development and historic preservation isn’t just about supporting downtowns – it’s also about re-creating hometowns.
Unlike many local Main Street organizations, Main Street Alabama takes a statewide approach to community revitalization. The organization works with more than 50 local communities across the state to present a unified approach to economic development. In this way, Main Street Alabama brings the National Main Street Center’s four-point approach to local movers and shakers across Alabama.
The results of this work have made a measureable impact on Alabama communities. Since 2014, Main Street Alabama has helped local communities foster 491 net new businesses, nearly 2,000 net new jobs and more than $360 million in investment.
Main Street Alabama finds success by providing strategic planning, branding support and technical assistance to its local partners. Each year, these partners grow in numbers, as Main Street Alabama selects three new communities to become “Designated Communities.” The selections are based in part on a community’s ability to commit a team and sufficient time to community revitalization. This process ensures that Main Street Alabama invests its resources in communities that are the best candidates. Once selected, Designated Communities have access to a more thorough set of services, including market analysis and media events.
Perhaps most importantly, Main Street Alabama moves the state toward a common goal. The program works to revitalize downtown by attracting new and former residents to Alabama hometowns. Main Street Alabama creates communities that people want to live and work in, where entrepreneurs want to start businesses and families want to put down roots. By keeping the focus on economic development that maintains historic charm, Main Street Alabama brings people home.
For more information, visit www.mainstreetalabama.org.
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