Hickory – Hickory Downtown Development Association has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America™ programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are thrilled to honor this year’s 829 nationally accredited Main Street America programs for their commitment to preservation-based economic development and the revitalization of their commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “The power of Main Street shines across the country through these vibrant communities, who have all worked to generate impressive economic returns, preserve community character, and celebrate local history.”

In 2017 alone, Main Street America™ programs generated $4.48 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,211 net new businesses, generated 30,294 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,737 historic buildings, and clocked 2.7 million volunteer hours.

Hickory Downtown Development Association performance is annually evaluated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce Main Street Center, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines 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.

Hickory Downtown Development Association has administered the Main Street Program for the City of Hickory since 2007. The purpose of the Main Street program is to stimulate economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Since Hickory was designated as a NC Main Street city, Downtown Hickory has experienced 55 building rehabilitations and 16 façade improvements. A net gain of 100 new businesses has generated a net gain of 390 new jobs. Twenty-two businesses have expanded in square footage, number of employees, or increased inventory lines. Downtown Hickory has 13,951,406 square feet of building space in the downtown district.

In the past decade, $31,192,538 in private investment and $6,616,000 in public investment has been invested in Hickory’s Downtown District for a total of $37,809,008 of downtown re-investment.

Hickory Downtown Development Association has coordinated 23,631 volunteer hours at a value of $345,421 contributed toward downtown revitalization projects.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 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 $74.73 billion in new public and private investment, generated 614,716 net new jobs and 138,303 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 276,790 buildings. Main Street America™ is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.