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Albany is among 19 cities selected for Georgia’s Main Street Start-up Program

By   /   November 26, 2013  /   Comments

Statewide program encourages downtown development

Albany, Georgia – The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA) announced
that Albany is one of nineteen Georgia cities selected to join the Main Street Start-up
Program, which provides technical assistance to cities looking to improve their
downtowns. Twenty-five cities across the state applied to the 2014-2015 program, the
largest single group of applicants in the history of the Georgia Main Street Program.
Collectively, they represent 284,503 citizens, $1.8 million in available local downtown
program funding, and 10 service delivery regions of the state.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to bring people and business to downtown Albany,”
said Mr. Blair, Downtown Manager. “It’s an honor to be selected for this prestigious
national program, which will allow us to leverage our many existing downtown assets.
We’re looking forward to working with GDCA toward full certification.”

“In line with national trends, Georgia has seen renewed interest in downtown
revitalization. We’re committed to helping our communities become great places to live,
work and play, and our Main Street Program is one of our best examples of our
technical assistance to Georgia’s local governments,” said Gretchen Corbin,
Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA), which houses
the Main Street program.

Focusing on four core areas: design (what downtown looks like and how it functions);
organization (the people and organizations that will do the work); economic restructuring
(the types of businesses that will work in a particular downtown); and promotion (helping
others understand how and why downtown is great), the Main Street program has
helped cities across Georgia and in the nation since 1980.

The other cities joining the program are:
Ashburn Cairo Porterdale
Auburn Chamblee Ringgold
Avondale Estates Grayson Stockbridge
Ball Ground Hinesville Swainsboro
Bowdon Holly Springs Sylvester
Braselton Lawrenceville
Perry

These communities will work to join 96 other cities across Georgia in the Main Street
program. GDCA will provide substantial technical assistance to these communities,
including help with board and leadership development, the creation of two- and five-year
work plans, development of program budgets and preparation of each to meet the 10
standards set forth by the National Main Street Center, which is a subsidiary of the
National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Georgia Main Street Program,” said Billy
Peppers, Director of the Office of Downtown Development. “Georgia was one of the first
states in the country to be a part of the national Main Street program, and because of
this, Georgia’s downtowns have seen more than $3 billion in impact since 1980, along
with the creation of more than 58,000 net new jobs. Georgia’s downtowns are truly open
for business.”

The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is a proven methodology that empowers
communities to utilize their distinctive assets, such as their independent businesses and
historic character, to revive their commercial districts, strengthen local economies and
increase civic engagement. Since 1980, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to
downtown revitalization has been used by more than 2,000 communities nationwide to
stimulate more than 235,000 building rehabilitation projects and create 475,000 jobs.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA) partners with communities to
help create a climate of success for Georgia’s families and businesses. GDCA does this
through its three core functions: community and economic development; local
government assistance; and safe and affordable housing. Community and economic
development programs include a variety of resources and incentives designed to help
communities spur private sector job creation and to help them meet their development
goals.

Local government assistance programs include planning, research, rural
development, downtown development, volunteerism, building codes, and solid waste
reduction. Housing programs include special financing for first-time homebuyers,
development resources and rental assistance to benefit low and moderate income
Georgia families and seniors, and homelessness prevention. For more information, visit
the GDCA website at www.dca.ga.gov.
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