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Downtown receives national accreditation

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RACINE — The Downtown Racine Corp. has been designated as an accredited Main Street Approach program for meeting rigorous performance standards.

Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of Main Street America.

“During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery,” added Frey.

In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.

The Downtown Racine Corp. performance is annually evaluated by WEDC Main Street Program, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“Working with the Main Street program has helped catapult downtown Racine by integrating the best practices and strategically utilizing resources that aid in redevelopment,” said Kelly Kruse, executive director of the DRC. “Eleven businesses opened in downtown in 2020, a huge feat, given the extremely challenging year, and we look forward to a much stronger downtown in the future. We continue to create more vibrancy and generate more economic activity and efficiency around our existing infrastructure of historic, beautiful buildings on the lakefront than any other portion of our community. We are thrilled to be an affiliate of Main Street America.”

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