For Immediate Release
1 May 2013
Patricia M Sears
Newport City Renaissance
Newport, Vermont – Newport City Renaissance has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four Point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.
“We congratulate Newport City Renaissance for meeting our established performance standards for the third year in a row,” says Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the downtown in the economy head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”
The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Vermont Downtown Program, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.
“The Newport City Renaissance team, along with the City of Newport, our volunteers and the entire community are proud to be recognized with ‘National Main Street’ status for 2013,” said Rob Hodgkins, chair of Newport City Renaissance board of directors. “The continuing efforts of everyone involved have allowed the opportunity for this accreditation.“
This year, only seven out of 23 Vermont Downtown organizations received accreditation from the National Main Street Program.
“Newport City Renaissance believes partnership makes a difference in advancing Newport’s community and economic development,” states Patricia Sears, executive director of Newport City Renaissance. “Because action produces genius, magic and power.”
This past year, in light of some serious challenges, downtown Newport saw some positive changes that include new businesses, like Brenda’s Homestyle Cookin’ and Mill River Furniture and expanding businesses, like Newport Natural Market & Café, that brought jobs to Main Street. Some landlords continue to improve their property. The Newport. Fresh by Nature. campaign — that celebrates Newport’s community gardens (Newport Fresh Start Community Farm), promotes Newport Farmers’ Market and connects farms in neighboring communities with Newport’s downtown restaurants – has been recognized nationally.
“Newport has experienced a culinary renaissance sparked by the Newport. Fresh by Nature. campaign, which has transformed traditional downtown restaurants into dining venues focused on food system sustainability.” Vermont’s Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants | AboutNewEngland.com
“We look forward to continuing our efforts as a steward in the process of growing Newport, as a destination for business and recreation, along with working with our neighbors to grow our community project focus,” stated Hodgkins.
Newport City Renaissance is an independent nonprofit organization acting as a catalyst for advancing downtown Newport’s community and economic development.
Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 32 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 473,535 net new jobs and 109,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 236,418 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.