BYRDSTOWN, LOUDON, AND SPRING CITY SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN TENNESSEE DOWNTOWNS PROGRAM

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter today announced the 12 Tennessee communities selected to participate in the ninth round of the Tennessee Downtowns Program.

The communities selected are Adamsville, Baxter, Byrdstown, Camden, Decatur, Gleason, Jellico, Loudon, McEwen, Munford, Spring City, and Wartrace.

“The investments we make in rural Tennessee benefit all Tennesseans, and the Tennessee Downtowns program allows us to equip some of our most rural communities with the tools needed to better develop and revitalize their downtown districts,” said TNECD Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter. “I congratulate the 12 communities participating in the latest round of the program and look forward to seeing how their downtowns flourish and attract new growth in the years to come.”

TNECD provides the Tennessee Downtowns program to communities that want to pursue the Main Street America approach to downtown revitalization. Since its inception in 2010, 78 communities have participated in the Tennessee Downtowns program, and the newly designated communities bring that total to 90.

The Tennessee Downtowns program helps local communities revitalize traditional commercial districts, enhance community livability, spur job creation, and maintain the historic character of downtown districts. The two-year program coaches selected communities and their steering committees through the steps of launching effective renewal efforts. Tennessee Downtowns includes community training through the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach® and a $15,000 grant for a downtown improvement project.

“We are proud to welcome 12 new communities into the Tennessee Downtowns program and look forward to working with them on their goals for downtown revitalization,” Main Street Program Director Kim Parks said.

The twelve newly selected communities all have downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and demonstrated their readiness to organize efforts for downtown revitalization according to Main Street America principles. The highly competitive selection process was based on historic commercial resources, economic and physical needs, demonstrated local effort, overall presentation, and probability of success.

Tennessee Downtown communities that complete the program are eligible for additional Downtown Improvement Grants as well as Main Street designation after completion of the Downtown program. There are currently 47 nationally accredited Main Street communities in Tennessee, 11 of which completed the Tennessee Downtowns program before their national accreditation.

Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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