Southwest Georgia soil nourishes local brewery

Developments like Pretoria Fields Brewery in downtown Albany have helped the city’s district attain 2020 Accredited Main Street America program status.

ALBANY — The city of Albany’s downtown district has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and a proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 nationally-accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in a news release. “These accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

In 2019 alone, $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated, 6,466 net new businesses were opened, 32,316 net new were jobs created, and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.

Downtown Albany’s performance is evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs – Office of Downtown Development & Georgia Main Streets, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

“It is great to receive this honorable accreditation for our downtown program,” Albany Downtown Manager Lequrica Gaskins said. “The city, Downtown Development Authority, and staff have been working in unison to exceed the goals and objectives that have been identified as a part of the performance standards and evaluation. This accreditation gives our downtown local, state, and national recognition, which is vitally important as we mobilize projects that foster economic development opportunities in downtown Albany.”

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