Downtown Smithfield receives 2013 National Trust Main Street accreditation
The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation 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 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 Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the downtown in the economy head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”
The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the North Carolina Main Street Center 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 as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.
Downtown Smithfield became a North Carolina state-certified Main Street Program in 1986. Over the past 27 years Downtown Smithfield has been seen as a leader across the State with innovative business development incentives, assisting entrepreneurs with new construction and redevelopment projects, streetscape projects and improvements, and hosting community festivals and events.
"Obtaining the national accreditation is a tremendous achievement for Downtown Smithfield," says Chris Johnson, Executive Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation. "This accomplishment proves the hard work, commitment and dedication of our Town, local small businesses and the DSDC organization. Downtown Smithfield will always be a work in progress as it maintains its vitality, sustainability and market share. The national recognition received speaks volumes for the hard work and effort of so many Smithfield leaders and citizens."
Recent DSDC work includes projects like the Neuse Riverwalk and Buffalo Creek Greenway, downtown signage and streetscaping, walking tours, SHARP tax-grant incentives, grant applications for vacant buildings and blighted lots and areas in residential neighborhoods, renovation and preservation of the Historic Hastings House, and much more.
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 32 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 473,535 net new jobs and 109,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 236,418 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.