Tennessee’s Main Streets net 1,500 jobs in 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s 28 Main Street communities created more than 1,500 jobs and generated more than $95 million of public/private investment in 2014, according to a recent news release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

“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.

The agency is a coordinating partner with the National Main Street Center. Designated Main Street communities meet national accreditation standards annually, which include illustrating broad-based community support for the program, developing of a comprehensive work plan and maintaining sufficient operating budget and professional staff with volunteer support.

A summary of the accomplishments of designated Main Street communities in 2014 includes:

  • 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.”

There are currently 28 designated Main Street program communities across Tennessee: Bristol, Brownsville, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Rogersville, Tiptonville, Savannah, Sweetwater, Union City, Ripley and Winchester.

Tennessee Main Street is also 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.

For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, please visit http://www.tennesseemainstreet.org.  For more on the National Main Street Center, visit http://www.mainstreet.org.

Source: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

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Jeannie Oliver

Jeannie Oliver is a writer and PR practitioner with a long string of awards behind her name. With a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Jeannie has worked as a high school journalism teacher, an editor for the Appaloosa Journal, and a media spokesperson for...