Bringing Back America’s Main Streets
Historically, main streets across America were the center of the town, the hub of activity and business. As populations grew, houses were built farther and farther from the downtown area, and new businesses cropped up on the outskirts of town. Main Street America, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, works to help communities find and maintain main street and downtown vitality. Georgetown, Texas received 2017 National Main Street Accreditation, showing its investment in the future and its appreciation for the past.
The Main Street Approach
Main Street America uses a four-point approach for growth including design, organization, promotion, and economic vitality. Georgetown is using these four points in the following ways:
· Design – Georgetown is implementing the use of uniform signage for all downtown businesses and buildings. Even vacant buildings are receiving updated signs to improve the look and feel of the area. Plans for gateways to the downtown area are underway and designs are being solicited.
· Organization – A list of all available properties in the downtown area is available for new and expanding businesses. The city has determined the most desirable new businesses for the area and makes this list available to interested parties as well. Georgetown keeps its web and social media presence attractive and informative.
· Promotion – Georgetown holds events to fund revitalization in the form of grants. It also recognizes and supports businesses who promote the downtown area.
· Economic Vitality – Georgetown actively supports small business by providing gatherings and workshops for business owners. Grants are available for businesses to use to update exterior appearance and signage. The downtown area is a venue for arts performances and college events.
Georgetown’s Main Street Results
Downtown living offers easy access to businesses, entertainment, and recreation, yet its proximity to highways makes travel easy. The classic downtown appeal of being able to walk to destinations is alive and well in Georgetown. Public transportation is expanding in the area, with a GoGeo bus system scheduled to begin in fall of 2017.
History is alive in Georgetown. Walking and driving tours are available through several protected historic districts. Historic markers identify significant places and serve as reminders of the people who were an integral part of early Georgetown.
Georgetown’s Downtown Square hosts festivals, markets, arts, special events, and contains a variety of businesses. More than sixteen annual events are hosted each year! The Town Square Directory is an excellent resource for finding dining, attractions, shopping, and services. Business entrepreneurs will find opportunities easily on Georgetown’s well-designed website. Georgetown is a thriving place to be.