Georgia Main Street Program Overview
The Georgia Main Street Program began in 1980 as one of the original pilot state coordinating programs of the National Main Street Initiative, launched by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program launched with five local communities and has grown to serve 100+ communities statewide. Georgia Main Streets represent some of the strongest central business districts in the state and in the Southeast.
Since it started, the designated community programs have been instrumental in leading the state in historic preservation, small business development, expansion of the state’s employment base, leveraging private investment, increasing tourism and providing a positive road map for public and private partnerships. Housed in the Office of Downtown Development at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Main Street is a signature program for community development and revitalization in Georgia’s historic downtowns.
The Main Street Approach
In 2021, Virginia Highland District was accepted by Atlanta City Planning Department and Main Street Georgia state program into the 2022-2023 fellowship opportunity to coordinate a community-based vision, work plan, and implementation schedule for the North Highland Business Corridor of Virginia Highland.
The second meeting with the other neighborhoods took place on February 14, held dual in-person and virtually. We started by each listing what we saw as a current “win” and a “worry” for our neighborhoods, then we went over the schedule for the year and how to do monthly reporting.
It was interesting to hear what other neighborhoods were up to.
Old Fourth Ward is hiring a Main Street coordinator and on-boarding a new district manager. East Atlanta is looking to fill their board for Main Street, focusing on diversity. West End is working with new Zone 4 leadership and hosting an Invest Atlanta webinar. Little Five Points is worried about crime with two business break ins in the last week but had a huge hit with their Valentine’s Day fundraiser.
A main driver of the meeting was how the goal of everything we are doing is to help tell “the story of our district.”
- Corridor inventory
- Business Outreach
- Visioning session
- Add market data from the city
- Select transformation strategy
Join the VaHi Main Street Board!
Are you interested in preservation, small business support, or just want to learn more? We are looking for a diverse cohort to participate in this unique opportunity to strengthen our community.