Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Commerce Department adopts Main Street Program

The Idaho Department of Commerce has adopted the Main Street Program, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as an economic development tool to encourage revitalization in historic business districts throughout the state.

The Main Street Program is already active in several Idaho communities, including Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Nampa, Lewiston and Sandpoint. The Commerce Department's action is intended to expand the program to smaller communities that might not have the resources to implement it on their own.

Department Directory Jeffrey Sayer said the Main Street Program has generated more than $51 billion in new investment and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in commercial districts across the nation. “Many of Idaho’s communities have historical assets in their downtown corridors, and the Main Street Program will enable us to leverage these resources to attract new businesses, while at the same time respecting the history of the buildings that currently occupy these districts," he said.

With partner agencies such as Preservation Idaho and the Idaho Rural Partnership and Idaho universities, the Commerce Department is offering local Main Street organizations training, tools, information and networking they need to be successful.

Gloria Mabbutt, a 33-year veteran of the Idaho Department of Commerce, has been named interim executive director of Idaho’s Main Street Program. Her job is to coordinate the designation and national accreditation of local Main Street programs and provide the support needed to help the local programs succeed.

For additional information, call her at (208) 334-2470 or e-mail Gloria.Mabbutt@commerce.idaho.gov

To learn more about Main Street programs, follow this link: http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/about-main-street/the-programs/