Smithfield has once again earned accreditation from the National Main Street Center, along with 47 other North Carolina communities, for economic vitality and fidelity in following the best-practice standards for historic preservation and community revitalization.


The N.C. Main Street Center & Rural Planning Center at the N.C. Department of Commerce has announced that Smithfield is one of 48 North Carolina communities have been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s highest tier of recognition, signifying a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and showcasing a proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach.
 
 
“North Carolina’s accredited Main Street programs have worked diligently to meet the standards established by the National Main Street Center, and we are pleased to see them recognized on a national level for their achievement,” said Anthony M. Copeland, N.C. Secretary of Commerce. “Local Main Street programs across our state work every day to bring jobs and businesses to their downtowns, which strengthens the overall economy of their communities and, in turn, that of our entire state.”
 
The performance standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street community’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.  
 
“The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is proud of this year’s accredited communities,” said Liz Parham, Director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center. “These communities have worked hard to build sustainable organizations, which are able to create vibrant downtowns that can pivot quickly during a crisis like COVID-19. We commend these communities and their volunteers on these accomplishments and look forward to seeing their continued success.”
 
Since 1980, The North Carolina Main Street program has generated $3.25 billion in private and public investment. In 2019, North Carolina Main Street downtown districts generated 345 net new businesses, 148 expansions of existing businesses, 2,211 net new jobs, 378 façade rehabilitations, 297 building rehabilitations, and logged more than 150,000 volunteer hours.
 
“We are proud to recognize this year’s Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “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.”
 
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
 
Nationally, Main Street America communities generated $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment, helped open 6,466 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 32,316 net new jobs, and supported the rehabilitation of 10,412 buildings in 2019.