EUFAULA ─ Main Street Alabama celebrated local program successes at the fifth annual Awards of Excellence on the day that Governor Kay Ivey proclaimed Main Street Alabama Day. The day recognizes the efforts of the organization that is focused on creating jobs and keeping character in communities across the state. During the Awards of Excellence program, Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator, Mary Helmer, honored 33 projects that made tremendous impacts in their respective communities. Alabama Municipal Electric Authority sponsored the event that was held at Lake Point State Park.
“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” said Helmer. “Today’s award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities. These projects are truly charting new territory in downtown revitalization in Alabama. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements. We are especially honored to be presenting these awards the day Governor Ivey proclaimed Main Street Alabama Day.”
Elba, a Designated Alabama City and a Nationally Accredited Main Street Program, brought home two top honors at this year’s Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence Dinner.
Alabama Community Award – Ben E. Keith Foods was recognized for their dedication, community service, and outstanding work to support Main Street Elba.
Excellence in Business Development – The Rabbit Hole won for outstanding efforts to improve the downtown business climate.
“This year’s winners are a testament to their dedication to growing Elba,” said Sandy Bynum, director of the Elba Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Elba. “Thanks to leadership, community spirit, and commitment to development, these two Chamber and Main Street member businesses have brought renewed vibrancy and statewide recognition to Elba. It’s truly inspiring.”
The Awards of Excellence Banquet is a highlight of the aLABama Downtown Laboratory, a three-day conference that bolsters the efforts of communities participating in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or those communities interested in downtown revitalization. The fourth annual event drew 120 community leaders from cities across the state.
Main Street Alabama has 23 Designated Programs and 36 Downtown Network Communities. Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Foley, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Heflin, Jasper, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Opelika, Oxford, Scottsboro, South Huntsville, and Wetumpka each have Designated Programs and new communities will be added annually. Applications to become a Designated Program will be available in Spring 2019. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Downtown Network.
Since 2014, Main Street Alabama Designated Communities have reported 509 net new businesses, 1980 net new jobs, $81,631,591 public dollars invested, $287,168,535 private dollars invested and 65,702 volunteer hours in their districts.
Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of our efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.