The Texas Main Street Program of the Texas Historical Commission has recommended Longview and the Longview Main Street Program for National Accreditation to the National Main Street Center. The recommendation is based upon Longview Main Street's Report of Progress submitted to the state office as part of its annual reporting requirement for Fiscal Year 2016.
Longview's Main Street program is a collaboration between the City of Longview and the One Hundred Acres of Heritage nonprofit. In conjunction with the City of Longview, the One Hundred Acres of Heritage board provides vision for and implements the efforts of Longview as a designated Main Street community by the Texas Main Street Program and the National Main Street Center. The board is volunteer-driven and is organized according to Main Street approach with committees dedicated to each of those key areas.
In 1999, the National Main Street Center implemented this process to recognize local Main Street revitalization programs for their individual annual progress and improvement through the Main Street Four Point Approach™. Through the Approach, local programs focus on a myriad of activities within four strategic areas. This includes creating Economic Vitality through making the most of a community’s unique sense of place and existing historic assets, harnessing local economic opportunity and creating a supportive business environment for small businesses. Design supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical elements of downtown while capitalizing on unique assets that set the commercial district apart. Through Promotion, downtown is positioned as the center of the community and hub of economic activity. The Organization strategy area mobilizes the resources and partners needed to effectively show measurable outcomes from a Main Street revitalization effort. National Accreditation will be formally announced in May at the National Main Street Now conference in Pittsburg, Pa.
Texas currently has 89 designated Main Street programs, making it one of the largest in the country. the Texas program was one of the first state coordinating programs to be established in 1981, and since that time it has been a part of the Texas Historical Commission, the state agency for historic preservation. Year-end reinvestment statistics show cumulative reinvestment over this time from all programs that have participated at $3.38 billion, with the creation of more than 35,000 jobs and almost 5,000 small businesses.
Volunteers are a very important aspect of the Main Street model because they help leverage the impact a small staff can have and also provide an avenue for the whole community to be a part of the success of downtown. Volunteer leadership works with staff to carry out the local program. Over the past year, 123,885 volunteer hours were contributed to Texas Main Street programs. Since 1999, more than 1.4 million volunteer hours have been contributed. The economic value of this to local public budgets is more than $35.6 million.
More information on the National Main Street Center/Main Street America: http://www.mainstreet.org/
More information about the Texas Main Street Program and the Texas Historical Commission: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/texas-main-street and http://www.thc.texas.gov/