The Enterprise Farmer’s Market was full of excitement Monday evening as the city held its Celebration Kickoff for Main Street Alabama.
Enterprise was one of four cities chosen to become a Main Street Alabama Designated Community earlier this month and will join 26 other Alabama communities in implementing Main Street’s “Four Point Approach,” which focuses on organization, design, promotion, and economic vitality. As Main Street Alabama stresses partnerships and economic development for its downtown communities, being recognized as a Main Street Community is expected to bring more “jobs, dollars and people” back to Downtown Enterprise and promote growth in the heart of the city.
City Tourism Director Tammy Doerer welcomed attendees to the event and introduced special guests, expressing her excitement to see Enterprise’s Main Street Alabama designation moving forward.
“Tonight is proof that an idea can be had, that our citizens who came together a year ago can seek advice, and our city has embraced this change,” Doerer said. “We’re so excited to be welcoming Main Street here tonight.”
Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper was also on hand to offer remarks during the kickoff. Cooper said that Enterprise will continue to be successful so long as the city remains united and continues to strive for excellence.
“One thing about the City of Enterprise is, we might be a small city, but we have a big heart, and everything that’s done here is done with peace and harmony,” said Cooper. “As we explain to others about how we’re doing things, they want to know our secrets, but one thing about it is united we stand, divided we fall. We are together. This is a good day for Enterprise, and I know that everybody is going to be fully supportive of this. I say to those who worked so hard, thank you and God bless.”
District 91 Representative Rhett Marques took the podium next, stating his excitement for Enterprise and its accomplishment.
“I’m just excited about this,” Marques said. “I wanted to congratulate the City of Enterprise, the Chamber of Commerce, Tammy and her team that worked so hard to make this happen. We’re thrilled to have Main Street Alabama recognize Enterprise -- we all know as citizens of Enterprise what a great town we have, and we just want to thank you guys for recognizing us also.”
A number of downtown Enterprise merchants attended the kickoff, including Shopaholic owner Debbie Gaydos, who first spearheaded the Main Street Alabama project, and Downtown Enterprise Business Association President Regena Lacey. Lacey said that becoming a Main Street Designated Community was a long process, but she and the other downtown business owners are excited to see what the designation will mean for Enterprise’s future.
“It wasn’t a quick thing -- it took a lot of research on our part and a lot of convincing everyone involved to get on board with this,” said Lacey. “We are so fortunate to have a thriving downtown community, and it has come a long way in the last 10 years. I’m so proud of the heart of our city, and this program brings to us the infrastructure and strategies and programs that are so proven; it’ll take our passion for downtown and take us to the next level. We’re so excited to have this partnership and to learn and grow. We’re looking forward to the adventure ahead.”
The kickoff’s remarks were concluded by Main Street Alabama President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer and Field Service Specialist Trisha Black. Black, who spent a portion of her youth in the Enterprise area, said she is happy to see Enterprise added to the ranks of Main Street Designated Communities.
Helmer spoke briefly about the next steps for Enterprise, which will include organizational setup meetings to build a firm foundation for the program. According to Helmer, on Aug. 6-8, the Main Street Alabama Resource team will be visiting the Enterprise area and listening to the community’s input, from which they will “couple their ideas with both short and long-range plans in each of the Four Points.” The plans will be unveiled during a public presentation Aug. 8.
“Main Street is a 40 year old program, so it’s not a flash in the pan program, and it’s in every state in the United States -- it’s even international in some areas as well,” Helmer said. “This is a proven program, and Main Street will work here, I have no doubt, if we continue to see this kind of excitement and involvement. If you will all tell me tonight that you’re going to continue to stay excited and involved in this program, I have no doubt that Enterprise is going to be one of our top programs in a very short period of time.”
The kickoff concluded with opportunities to ask questions of Main Street representatives. Also featured in the event were “Morsels of Main Street,” which featured food from each of Downtown Enterprise’s signature restaurants.