MOREHEAD CITY — For the fifth year in a row, Downtown Morehead City Inc. has been designated as an accredited 2021 National Main Street program, Main Street America’s top level of recognition, for meeting rigorous performance standards.
According to a release from Downtown Morehead City, each year, Main Street America and its partners announces the list of accredited programs that follow the “main street approach” of preservation-based economic development and community revitalization.
“We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” President and CEO of Main Street America Patrice Frey said in the release. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts.
“I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery,” she concluded.
According to the Main Street organization, in 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local investment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.
Downtown Morehead City Inc.’s performance is evaluated annually by North Carolina Main Street, which is administered through the N.C. Department of Commerce and works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet the 10 national performance standards to be considered accredited. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
DMC said in 2020, the area generated $16,205,010 in local reinvestment, helped 27 new businesses open, generated 75 new jobs, saw 22 façade improvements and invested 1,356 volunteer hours, all in the area from 14th to 4th streets, water to water.
“There are many public and private partners involved with the success of our unique downtown,” DMC Executive Director Lisa Rueh said. “We have tireless volunteers who serve on our board and committees, wonderful downtown business owners, a working waterfront, popular events that draw folks into downtown, as well as continuous support from our county and town leaders, and organizations that all wish to see downtown Morehead City remain vibrant and prepared for future growth.”