Perry has been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.

“Downtown buildings are being revitalized, and people are shopping and enjoying our beautiful downtown more than ever before,” Main Street Advisory Board Chairman Bill O’Neal said. “Perry’s Main Street program works to promote and create a thriving business district downtown and along main corridors into downtown, while preserving Perry’s historic resources and character.”

“Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship and support downtown housing is more important than ever,” Patrice Frey, National Main Street Center president and chief executive officer, said.

“Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social and cultural fabric of their entire communities,” she said.

Frey said 828 Main Street America programs received national accreditation for 2017.

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 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, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years.  Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 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 $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings.