Downtown Revitalization Program Offers Selected Communities Technical Assistance, Workshops, Grant Funds
NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is now accepting applications for Tennessee Downtowns, a competitive education and training program for communities seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts. The program is open to communities with downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and whose citizens are ready to organize efforts for downtown revitalization. Applications are available upon request and must be completed by Wednesday, April 30. Please visit www.tennesseemainstreet.org for more information.
“The economic strength of a community can often be measured by the health of its historic downtown district, “ Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Vibrant downtown districts make our communities better places to live and work, which can make all the difference when it comes to furthering economic growth and winning new jobs and investment.”
The Tennessee Downtowns program is affiliated with TNECD’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 24-month training curriculum supported by the National Main Street Center. The curriculum is based on the successful “Main Street Four-Point Approach to Downtown Revitalization” and is designed to teach citizens about comprehensive, sustainable downtown revitalization and historic preservation. The training includes workshops, webinars, mentoring and a $15,000 grant to complete individualized downtown improvement projects.
“Tennessee Downtowns has been very effective with helping communities learn more about how to launch a successful downtown revitalization effort based on the Main Street Approach,” Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan said. “We look forward to working with six newly selected communities as part of Round 4.”
Communities participating in the Tennessee Downtowns program may wish to continue a self-initiated downtown revitalization effort at the end of the program or apply for certification in the Tennessee Main Street Program through a separate application process. Successful completion of the Tennessee Downtowns program does not automatically result in a designation as a Tennessee Main Street program.
Downtown 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’s Main Street program provides communities with technical assistance and guidance in developing long-term strategies that promote economic growth and development. Designated Tennessee Main Street communities meet or are in the process of meeting National Main Street Center's accreditation standards.
To apply for the Tennessee Downtowns program or for more information, visit www.tennesseemainstreet.org. For questions about the program, please contact Todd Morgan, 615-253-1894 or [email protected]
The six newly selected communities will be announced on June 17. Round 4 will run from July 2014 until June 2016.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.