Heart of Brevard Receives 2021 Main Street Accreditation

Cars driving through a Main Street of a town.
Linda Giltz / HUD

Heart of Brevard has been designated as an accredited Main Street program for meeting rigorous performance standards.

Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.”

In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings, and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.

The Heart of Brevard’s performance is annually evaluated by North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the NC Department of Commerce, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

“We are thrilled to receive this accreditation from the National Trust Main Street Center,” said Heart of Brevard Executive Director Nicole Bentley. It is a great honor and reward for all our downtown supporters, businesses, property owners, and the entire Brevard community, who have worked so hard to get where we are today”

The program has also continued to see reinvestment from the private sector flow into the districts. This past year alone we had $1,221,890 invested in downtown through public and private projects. These investments facilitated in 10 new businesses opening and creating a new gain of nearly 40 part- and full-time jobs. We also saw the expansions of 10 existing business, 3 new façade projects and to be the beneficiaries of 1,320 volunteer hours.

Brevard City Manager, Jim Fatland said, “The Main Street Accreditation is well deserved,” he added “the strong partnership of the City and Heart of Brevard enabled positive outcomes for our downtown despite uncertain economic times.”

In 2020, Heart of Brevard spearhead several initiatives to provide tools for downtown to maintain an effective economic development program. In addition to shifting priorities to support the evolving needs of businesses. A strategic and comprehensive approach to problem solving allowed them to respond effectively to the needs of small businesses, maintaining quality of life and ultimately supporting the vitality of the Heart of Brevard district.
“We are working hard to keep the downtown a vibrant piece of the community and are very proud to be recognized for those efforts,” shared Bentley.

While we haven’t completely cleared the hurdle that COVID-19 has presented, Heart of Brevard has played a critical role in the marketing and promotion of two key programs. The Heart of Brevard initiated efforts on a program to support small local businesses and teamed up with the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce to develop the Think Local Transylvania initiative. At the heart of the effort is the mindset that thinking and spending local makes a difference. The program’s mission is to support small local businesses and nonprofits, foster county-wide togetherness, celebrate our unique place, and grow a thriving and resilient economy for everyone.

The Transylvania Tomorrow Small Business Emergency Relief fund is a program initiated by the Heart of Brevard and created by the Transylvania Business Support Task Force to support Transylvania County small businesses during the COVID-19 epidemic. The program, that is funded through the Community Focus Foundation 501(c)(3), awards grant sup to $3,000. As of June 1, we have assisted 111 business and raised nearly $250,000.