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Downtown Development accredited by Main Street Arkansas

by Special to The Commercial | June 10, 2021 at 2:47 a.m.
Downtown Pine Bluff is shown in this May 20, 2021, file photo. (Pine Bluff Commercial/Byron Tate)

Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc. has been designated an accredited Main Street program for meeting rigorous performance standards, according to a news release.

Downtown Development's performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Arkansas, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards.

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.

"On behalf of the board of directors of Downtown Development, we are truly excited for this organization and its efforts in 2020 to maintain its successful program," said David Brown, president of the Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc.'s board of directors. "In the challenging time of the pandemic, we carried on the mission of Main Street's four-point approach and facilitated small businesses in the downtown program area with the much-needed help during the covid pandemic in keeping their doors open for business."

Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach, according to the release.

"We are proud to recognize this year's 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance the economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts," said Patrice Frey, president and chief executive officer of Main Street America.

"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," Frey said.

In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.

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