By Hannah Curran, Editor
LEEDS — Leeds celebrated its official launch of the Main Street Program Tuesday, June 21, in Downtown Leeds.
“Today we are celebrating our Main Street designation which means we have the support of Main Street Alabama to come into our town and help us bring life and economic vitality back to our downtown area,” Executive Director of Leeds Main Street, Amber Vines said. “Downtown is really the heart of our city and tonight everyone’s gonna hear our heartbeat.”
The City of Leeds was announced as one of the four 2022 Main Street Alabama Designated Communities on Wednesday, June 1.
Leeds joins 31 other Alabama communities in implementing the nationally recognized Four Point Approach, focusing on organization, design, promotion, and economic vitality with a unifying transformation strategy for effective revitalization.
The city’s goal as a designated community is connecting people to their community assets and making Downtown Leeds a vibrant center for commerce.
“The outpour of love and support of our community, makes a Leeds native never want to leave,” Vines said.
Main Street Alabama is a nonprofit solely focused on revitalizing historic downtowns in Alabama. Typically three cities are chosen a year from the many that apply, but this year four were selected. Main Sreet Alabama comes into the city and analyzes what the downtown merchants, the leaders, and the citizens want the historic downtown to look like.
The four cities selected were Demopolis, LaFayette, Leeds, and Talladega.
According to the Main Street, Alabama website, Main Street programs are more than having great events and making downtown look better. At its core, Main Street is an economic development tool that enhances the tax base of a community, fosters entrepreneurship, builds community capacity, and creates partnerships among key groups in a community.
Main Street Alabama is focused on bringing jobs, dollars, and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of this statewide organization’s efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.
The next step for Leeds is the resource team visit and community vision on September 20-22, 2022. Main Street Alabama will host a team of experts in each area of the Four Point Approach: Mary Helmer Wirth, Trisha Black, Tanya Maloney, Jay Schlinsog, and Randy Wilson.
From 2014 to present, Main Street Alabama has accomplished $97,400,835 in public investment, $669,300,0346 in private investment, 2,984 net new jobs, 909 net new jobs, and 140,198 volunteer hours.