Main Street Morgantown was created out of the National Trust organization in 1980 as a way to promote community revitalization through historic preservation. Over the last 30 years, National Main Street programs “have spurred the rehabilitation of more than 246,000 buildings, and generated $59.6 billion in new investment, with a net gain of more than 502,728 new jobs, and over 115,000 new businesses. Every dollar a community uses to support its local Main Street program leverages an average of $18 in new investment, making Main Street one of the most successful economic development strategies in America. These community benefits would not be possible without the training, education, and leadership of the National Main Street Center.” (mainstreet.org)
Main Street Morgantown is one of 2,000 Main Street affiliated programs. Created in 1984, it is recognized at the local, state, and federal level for “excellence.” Main Street Morgantown follows the Four Point Approach ® created by Main Street which includes organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.
Main Street Morgantown represents and promotes economic development to its districts which include the Downtown and Downtown Wharf. They do this through social media, biweekly and monthly newsletters, TV and radio advertisement, and sponsoring events to bring customers to the districts. Main Street Morgantown’s promotion committee plans and sponsors several annual events every year and other smaller events throughout the year. This year, their annual events currently include Chocolate Lover’s Day (April 18), Kids Day (July 18), Art is Food and Arts Walk (October 2), and Small Business Saturday (November 28).
Main Street Morgantown also benefits supporting members by offering a number of programs. They offer security camera grants, façade grants, and sign grants. They also apply for state and federal grants throughout the year to benefit the district and the community as a whole. They have been granted flex-e-grants over the last several years which have funded residential and retail studies. These studies show where our weaknesses lay and give suggestions on how to strengthen these areas. They are also made available to the City of Morgantown which helps them implement the plans to benefit our local and small businesses. They have also received several Growing Healthy Communities grants to help develop healthy initiatives for the community. The initiatives include a culinary station at the Morgantown Farmers Market and most recently wayfinding signage for the Rail Trail to encourage both physical activity through “active transportation” and economic development by leading visitors and residents alike through Main Street Morgantown’s districts.
Main Street Morgantown has also raised approximately 75% of the funds of the Morgantown Farmers Market which brings local and organic produce and meats to residents of the City.
Main Street Morgantown has done many things to create economic development to the downtown districts by bringing in finances to the city and creating local jobs. It is a truly great organization to support. Be sure to follow their activity on their website, twitter, and Facebook.