City of Dahlonega's Main Street Program Receives 2011 National Main Street Accreditation

10-19 dahlonegaawardresizedThe City of Dahlonega's Main Street Program has been accredited as a 2011 National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center. Dahlonega joins over 700 other Main StreetTM revitalization programs being recognized as 2011 National Main Street Programs. Each year, the National Trust Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited National Main Street Programs around the country that have demonstrated their ability to follow the Main Street methodology.

"We congratulate this year's accredited National Main Street Programs for meeting our established performance standards," says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. "Rebuilding a district's economic health and maintaining that success requires broad-based community involvement and support, in addition to establishing a solid organization with sound management that is committed to long-term success."

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center works in partnership with Coordinating Main Street Programs throughout the nation to identify the local programs that meet the National Trust Main Street Center's ten basic performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program's application of the Main Street Four-Point ApproachTM to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress, and preserving historic buildings. For more information on the National Main Street Program accreditation, visit http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/about-main-street/the-programs/national-programs.html.

The organization's performance was evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Office of Downtown Development, which is the coordinating organization for Main Street programs in Georgia.

Dahlonega's Better Hometown Program is guided by the 7 volunteer members of the Downtown Development Authority and the Mayor and City Council. The City of Dahlonega's historic downtown was also honored in 2010 by the Georgia Downtown Association when it received the "Award for Excellence in Downtown Development" ranking it as Georgia's top downtown for 2010.

Reflecting on downtown's successes in the past year, Mayor Gary McCullough pointed out that, "Downtown Dahlonega is home to 100 businesses. Viewed as a whole, it is one of the region's largest industries with more than 400 employees. Market studies verify that each year, downtown Dahlonega generates more than $300 million dollars in sales. In 2010 we had 18 new businesses open, creating 45 jobs. In 2010 we had $1.357 million dollars of investment in private commercial property in downtown Dahlonega through purchases, new construction, repairs, and restorations."

Downtown Development Authority Chairman Denson Martin noted that, "This is the eighth consecutive year that we have met the requirements to be certified as a National Main Street City. This is a terrific accomplishment for our city. It is a special time for us to appreciate the work that so many people do to protect our historic downtown and to provide a unique business atmosphere for our community. We enjoy the great commitment of city elected officials, downtown business and property owners, customers, and many local partners who care deeply for downtown and work to sustain its beauty and success."

Since 1980, the National Trust Main Street Center has helped hundreds of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts across the nation reclaim the unique quality of life that only a thriving community center can provide. Through the Main Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district revitalization, which combines historic preservation and economic development, the Center has forged a nationwide movement for the revival of America's historic and traditional commercial districts. The Center provides a nationwide membership network, comprehensive on-site consulting services, in-depth seminars and conferences, technical publications and training materials, and national advocacy for commercial districts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the-places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history - and the important moments of everyday life - took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America's stories. For more information, visit www.preservationnation.org.