Bainbridge DDA gets National Main Street Accreditation

Published 7:04 pm Friday, April 10, 2015

The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge was recently designated as an accredited National Main Street Program. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bainbridge’s Main Street Program.

The National Main Street Center annually announces a list of accredited Main Street programs in recognition of their commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach.

DDA executive director Amanda Glover said that Downtown Bainbridge has seen massive improvements over the last 25 years.

Email newsletter signup

“I think there have been huge strides,” Glover said. “To look at photos from the mid-to-late 80s and to see where we’ve gone is amazing.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization, according to a DDA news release.

“Things are happening in Downtown Bainbridge,” Julie Harris, Bainbridge community affairs director, said in the release. “Downtown buildings are being purchased and rehabbed, new businesses are opening, and a multitude of family-friendly activities are scheduled, such as the Downtown Farmers’ Market. If you haven’t been downtown in a while, you are certainly missing out on a variety of fine shops and dining establishments.”

As part of the Main Street Program, Glover keeps track of how many properties are sold as well as the number of businesses that open and close within the downtown historical district. According to her data, more than 20 businesses opened during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and there are currently about 500 employees of various businesses in the district, which Glover says is a “good-sized group.”

“I want people to realize what an asset and gem we have here,” Glover said. “I want people to be proud of Bainbridge. People talk about Bainbridge and projects that go on here.”

Glover attended the National Main Street Conference in Atlanta last week where she hosted a session on downtown branding.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s 10 Standards of Performance,” Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in the release. “As the National Main Street Center celebrates its 35th anniversary, it is also important to celebrate the achievements of the local Main Street programs across the country, some of whom have been around since the beginning. These local programs work hard every day to make their communities great places to work, live, play and visit while still preserving their historic character.”