Mount Vernon has been selected as one of eight semi-finalists for the coveted Great American Main Street (GAMSA) Award.
GAMSA semifinalists were selected from a nationwide pool of accredited Main Street America applicants based on their successful and innovative uses of the Main Street Approach™.
“The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor within the field of commercial district management,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America. “These eight semifinalists are shining examples of the kind of transformation that is possible when using the Main Street Approach. These programs have brought renewed vibrancy to their communities and sparked impressive preservation-based revitalization.”
The reinvestment statistics from this year’s batch of semifinalists show the true impact of their hard work. Together, these eight semifinalists have brought in over $139 million in public investment and more than half a billion dollars in private investment, generated 3,277 jobs, opened 844 new businesses, rehabbed 2,186 buildings, and logged 260,773 volunteer hours since their programs’ inceptions.
GAMSA semifinalists were selected from a nationwide pool of accredited Main Street America applicants based on their successful and innovative uses of the Main Street Approach™. Criteria for winning include: strength of the Main Street program in spurring community transformation, commitment to historic preservation, innovative programming, implementation of cross-sector partnerships, community outreach and stakeholder engagement, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. More than 100 communities have been recognized as winners since the award’s inception in 1995.
Since 2008, Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) has built a strong reputation as a Main Street destination through award- winning festivals, creative fundraising projects, stellar small business recruitment/retention and stunning design projects. With the strong support of more than 500 volunteers, this small Main Street program has reduced the vacancy rate by more than 78 percent and has created 58 net new businesses and 474 net new jobs. In 2015, the Community Development Group transformed a former high school gym into a museum space capable of hosting a world-class Smithsonian exhibition. The hard work of their many volunteers continues to invigorate their Main Street with programs that create a desirable place to live, work, and play.
We look forward to announcing the GAMSA winners on May 16 at the Main Street Now Conference in Richmond, VA. Read on to learn more about each of the semifinalists and follow our social channels this week for spotlights on each community.