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Main Street communities created more than 1,000 new jobs

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today the 2016 economic impact and reinvestment statistics from 30 certified Tennessee Main Street communities across the state. These Main Street communities created more than 1,000 new jobs and generated over $124 million of public/private investment in 2016, while continuing to be a vital part of the state's economic growth.

"Downtown revitalization reflects positively on the entire state when seeking new economic opportunities," TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. "It is encouraging to see this grassroots support for Tennessee Main Street communities and the new jobs and businesses that come from both public and private investment."

Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and training for communities in developing solutions to make downtowns safe, appealing, vibrant places where people want to shop, work, live and invest.

Reinvestment statistics from the designated Tennessee Main Street communities reporting include:

  • Net new jobs: 1019
  • Net new businesses: 231
  • Building rehabilitation projects: 332
  • Public improvement projects: 99
  • Total private investment: $58.8 million
  • Total public investment: $$65.4 million
  • Net new housing units: 281
  • Volunteer hours contributed: 100,588
  • Total public/private investment: $124.2 million

Additionally, Tennessee Main Streets collectively reported more than 1.3 million people attending their downtown events.

"The annual reinvestment statistics show encouraging levels of investment in Tennessee historic commercial downtown areas," Nancy Williams, Tennessee Main Street director, said. "Downtown housing and lodging are showing renewed interest, and while it's impressive that more than a million people attended events in 30 Main Streets last year, the lasting impact comes from building improvements, new businesses and new jobs."

There are currently 34 certified Main Street program communities across Tennessee: Athens, Bolivar, Bristol, Brownsville, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Maryville, McKenzie, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Paris, Pulaski, Ripley, Rogersville, Tiptonville, Savannah, Sevierville, Sweetwater, Union City and Winchester. Four of the programs were newly certified in 2016 and not included in the full year's statistics.

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, a comprehensive work plan, a sufficient operating budget and adequate staff and volunteer support.

For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, visit tennesseemainstreet.org. For more on the National Main Street Center, visit mainstreet.org.