Alexandria among communities selected to participate in Tennessee Downtowns program

10 communities selected in the eighth round of TNECD’s downtown revitalization program

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe today announced that Alexandria is one of 10 Tennessee communities selected to participate in the eighth round of the Tennessee Downtowns program.

The other communities selected are Copperhill, Cumberland Gap, Decherd, Loretto, Newbern, Oneida, Rossville, Tellico Plains and Waverly.

“Strengthening rural Tennessee remains a top priority for TNECD as we continue to ensure that our communities are equipped with the tools needed to develop strategies and revitalize our historic downtowns,” Rolfe said. “The Tennessee Downtowns program is an essential part of our rural development strategy, and we look forward to working with these 10 new communities as they establish sustainable renewal efforts in their commercial districts.”

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, 66 communities have participated in the Tennessee Downtowns program, and the newly designated communities bring that total to 76.

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 in the Main Street America program and a $15,000 grant for a downtown improvement project.

“We are proud to welcome 10 new communities into the Tennessee Downtowns program and look forward to helping these towns create and meet their goals for downtown revitalization,” TNECD Main Street Program Director Nancy Williams said.

The ten newly selected communities all have downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and have 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 need, 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. There are currently 41 nationally accredited Main Street communities in Tennessee, 10 of which successfully completed the Tennessee Downtowns program prior to their national accreditation.

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

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Like us on Facebook. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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