Tennessee Downtowns is an associated program of the state’s Tennessee Main Street program. It was designed by the State of Tennessee to help assist community improvement programs for towns and cities seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts. The program embarks on a comprehensive revitalization effort for downtowns using the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach. This program coaches downtown’s steering committees through the steps of launching effective revitalization effort.
The National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach is a unique multi-faceted economic development tool that enables communities to revitalize their downtowns by leveraging local assets from historic, cultural, and architectural resources to local enterprises and community pride. It is a strategy that addresses the variety of issues and problems that challenge traditional commercial districts by focusing on the following areas: Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion and Organization.
Getting the downtown area into tip-top physical shape, while creating a safe inviting environment, is addressed through the Design step. This can be achieved through appropriate building renovations, streetscapes and public space improvements, good signage, attractive window displays, and overall aesthetic qualities.
Strengthening the downtown’s existing economic assets, while broadening its economic base, is the focus for the Economic Restructuring stage. This is reachable by the identification of current and potential market opportunities, business retentions and recruitment, working with small business owners and entrepreneurs, development of financial assistance, and the use of training tools.
The Promotion step concentrates on creating a positive downtown image. Rekindling community pride and improving consumer and investor confidence in the commercial district is the focal target. This can be accomplished through special events, marketing and branding.
Building partnerships among a mixture of groups that have a stake in the downtown is dealt throughout the Organization phase. Creating a well-run, financially sustainable, non-profit organization that can operate the program locally is the key to the downtowns success. This step must involve the public and private sectors, which includes downtown interests and stakeholders as well as representatives from throughout the community.
A flourishing downtown can provide a sense of pride for our town and community. It can spur tourism, promote entrepreneurship and create jobs. With strong local participation and leadership, the Waynesboro Tennessee Downtowns program can aid with create vibrant and sustainable economies in the heart of our rural community while building positive efforts helping downtown Waynesboro reach its full economic potential. We believe in Waynesboro!—Submitted by the Waynesboro Tennessee Downtowns Committee