Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority & Main Street Program Receives 2012 National Trust Main Street Accreditation

7-4 betterhometown2The Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority & Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center®. Each year, the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four-Point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.

"We congratulate this year's nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards," says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. "Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable."

Georgia Main Street Program Director Cindy Eidson presented the 2012 Main Street Certification to the Dahlonega City Council and the Main Street/DDA Board at the June 4 City Council meeting. Eidson works for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the agency that annually evaluates each Main Street City's performance. Georgia's DCA and State Main Street Office work in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 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 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 program accreditation program, visit http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/about-main-street/the-programs/national-programs.html.

Dahlonega's Main Street Progam 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 of the year.

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 2011 we had 23 new businesses open, creating 77 jobs. In 2011 we had $12 million dollars of investment in private and public projects in downtown Dahlonega through purchases, new construction, repairs, and restorations."

Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Program Chairman Denson Martin noted that, "This is the ninth consecutive year that Dahlonega has met the requirements to be certified as a National Main Street City. This is a terrific accomplishment. 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."

Details about the programs and services of Dahlonega's Main Street Program and Downtown Development Authority are available on the website: www.dahlonegadda.org

Established in 1980, the National Trust 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 30 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $53.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 448,835 net new jobs and 104,961 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 229,164 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America's historic places to enrich our future. www.PreservationNation.org.