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Elizabeth City Downtown wins national accreditation

From Staff Reports

The Daily Advance

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Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.

“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.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Office of Urban Development, N.C. Department of Commerce, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards.

These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street four-point approach to commercial district revitalization.

Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“ECDI has been instrumental in the vibrancy of our downtown here in Elizabeth City through things like the NC Potato Festival, First Friday ArtWalk, Downtown Vacant Property Open House, Southern Hotel Window Art, and the current Mariners’ Wharf Film Festival,” said Rebecca Cross, executive director for ECDI. “Receiving National Accreditation validates that our program is working and we are so proud of our organization and the volunteers/supporters who help to make it all possible.”

Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. is a nonprofit downtown revitalization organization based on the Main Street Four Point Approach. The mission of ECDI is to be a catalyst of revitalization, acting as a central resource for potential investors, visitors, and residents interested in our historic waterfront downtown.

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.