NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says that Main Street communities created more than 1,500 new jobs and generated more than $95 million of public/private investment in 2014, while continuing to be a vital part of the state’s economic and cultural identity.
The report, 2014 Economic Impact and Reinvestment Statistics, includes activities occurring between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014.
There are currently 28 designated Main Street program communities across Tennessee. Cookeville and McMinnville represent the Upper Cumberland.
“Tennessee’s main streets are such an important part of our state’s identity and cultural heritage,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “Flourishing downtowns provide a sense of pride for our communities, spur tourism and promote entrepreneurship, which ultimately creates jobs.”
Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and training for communities in developing real-world solutions to make downtowns safe, appealing, vibrant places where folks want to shop, work, live, invest and make memories.
Other reinvestment statistics from the designated Main Street communities reporting include:
• Net new jobs: 1,565
• Net new businesses: 171
• Building rehabilitation projects: 298
• Public improvement projects: 248
• Net new housing units: 54
• Volunteer hours contributed: 114,807
• Total public/private investment: $95.5 million
“Annual reports from Tennessee’s 28 accredited Main Street programs demonstrate strong reinvestment in 2014 for the historic commercial cores of Tennessee communities that are making an effort to revitalize their downtowns,” Tennessee Main Street Program Director Nancy Williams said. “It shows that taking good care of downtown reaps economic benefits, including jobs, for the whole community.”
Other Main Street communities include Bristol, Brownsville, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Rogersville, Tiptonville, Savannah, Sweetwater, Union City, Ripley and Winchester.
Tennessee Main Street is currently working with six communities through the affiliated Tennessee Downtowns program: Arlington, Carthage, Ducktown, Etowah, Jamestown and Shelbyville. An additional 28 communities have participated in the Tennessee Downtowns program.
Tennessee Main Street is a coordinating partner with the National Main Street Center. Designated communities are required to meet national accreditation standards annually, which include illustrating broad-based community support for the program, development of a comprehensive work plan, a sufficient operating budget and professional staff with volunteer support.