Come Along!

Main Street Roanoke Rapids

Volunteer of the Year went to Titus Workman, publisher of the Daily Herald, who will also be president of the Main Street board for the current fiscal year.

The Beautification Award was given to John Wesley Pepper, who is an owner of Pepper & Doughtie Antiques & Gifts on Roanoke Avenue.

The Main Street Business of the Year award went to Tillery Designs, another avenue business.

Moseley presented the Main Street President's Award to Kim Simpson Hager, one of the early supporters of the program.

Main Street Roanoke Rapids encompasses the second largest such district in the state, stretching from KapStone to the Junction, Caudle noted as she gave the report.

In the past fiscal year there were 23 facade improvements, four of the projects being awarded Main Street Roanoke Rapids facade improvement grants.

There were nine building rehab projects and three public improvements. The tally since the inception of the Main Street Program is 63 facade improvements; 47 building rehabilitation projects and 11 public improvement projects.

Compared year over year, Caudle said, the numbers show a 53 percent increase in facade improvements; a 45 percent increase in job creation and a 100 percent increase in new business.

There was a 45 percent increase in new jobs, Caudle told the audience, with 42 new jobs created in the business district.

In the program to date, 302 new jobs have been created and 80 lost for a net of 222 new jobs.

Also reflected in her report was the gain of 19 new businesses, compared to five closings and one expansion.

Cumulative, there have been 97 businesses opened; 25 closed and two expansions. She reported 35 percent of all permits issued by the city are within the business district.

One of the most notable achievements, Caudle said, was earning the National Accreditation for exceeding the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. “We're the youngest program in the state to earn the Main Street National Accreditation,” she said. “If it's up to me, we're going to earn it every year.”

Private investment in the business district was $445,687 while public investment was $154,143. Private investment has been up 28 percent year over year while public investment has been up 11 percent year over year.

In the program to date, public investment represents $642,956; private investment $1,791,004 for a total of $2,433,960.

One of the most important aspects of the program, Caudle told the audience, are the volunteer hours logged.

In the past fiscal year that figure was 2,700. Figures, show she said, volunteer hours are worth $21.47 per hour. That represents a savings of $57,969. Over the years, the volunteers have put in 8,883 hours for $189,645 in in-kind donations.

There were nine special events in the past fiscal year that drew in 3,500 people and $20,000 spent while visiting.

In the new fiscal year the goal is to tour Main Street cities and host a leadership series; promotion to host special events and redevelop through facade grants and develop an urban green space and to recruit new businesses and volunteers.

The program will be making use of the hashtag #mainstreetrr in all its social media platforms and is asking people who visit to do the same. While older generations may not be familiar with the tool, Caudle said, “The up and coming millennials were born with smart phones in in their hands.”

Caudle said the main way to help the business district economy is, “To shop local. When you shop local more dollars stay in the economy. We really need to point out our positive assets.”

Photo & Details by MSRR/RRSPIN.

    

As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, Roanoke Rapids is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.