TMS designated as Accredited Main Street America program

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOMAHAWK – Tomahawk Main Street Inc. (TMS) has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America program.

A release from TMS said it received the designation “for meeting rigorous performance standards.”

TMS explained that each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of designated programs to “recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.”

In 2023, the Main Street America programs generated $5.68 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,630 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 35,162 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,556 historic buildings and leveraged 1,664,763 volunteer hours,” TMS stated. “On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $18.03 of new investment back into their downtown and commercial corridor communities.”

“We are incredibly excited to celebrate this year’s 800 Accredited Main Street America programs and their remarkable efforts to reenergize their local economies and public spaces,” said Main Street America President and CEO Erin Barnes. “Main Street leaders are visionaries that see things that no one else can see and create the future world we all want to live in. The size and impact of our network demonstrates that great things happen when visions are realized through strategic, grassroots collaboration.”

TMS’s performance was evaluated through assessments conducted by the organization’s personnel and board of directors, as well as Wisconsin Main Street, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet national community evaluation standards.

“These standards provide the Main Street America network with a strong foundational framework to review progress, recognize strengths, understand trends and identify strategies that move Main Street programs forward,” TMS said. “To quality for Accredited status – Main Street America’s top designation tier – communities must demonstrate a proven track record of achieving outcomes in alignment with the Main Street Approach and exceptional performance in six areas: broad-based community commitment to revitalization; inclusive leadership and organizational capacity; diversified funding and sustainable program operations; strategy-driven programming; preservation-based economic development; and demonstrated impact and results.”

Jennifer Turkiewicz, TMS Executive Director, said she is excited to share the news of TMS’s accreditation.

“As a designated Main Street community, we are able to open doors and provide services to our downtown businesses that they may not otherwise to able to access,” Turkiewicz stated. “We, as an organization, can also utilize new tools to improve our downtown for our property and business owners, as well as the many visitors we are blessed to see each year.”

Turkiewicz said past examples include Kiva Loans and Main Street Bounceback grants that several Tomahawk businesses received.  She also highlighted working with professionals in the marketing realm to update and re-imagine TMS’s vision, mission and overall look, as well as taking advantage of training opportunities throughout the state on new and innovative topics.

“From flowers and landscaping to garbage cans and benches, restored murals to Honor Banners, Farmers Markets to North for the 4th sales, Tomahawk Main Street continues to expand and improve events and downtown beautification, as well as strengthening relationships with the community,” TMS stated.

About Tomahawk Main Street Inc.

The release said Tomahawk Main Street Inc., in partnership with the business community, civic organizations, local government and residents, fosters the economic and social vitality of Tomahawk, utilizing innovative strategies that cultivate the downtown’s unique heritage.

“By implementing the National Main Street program, we create a place that enables life as it is meant to be,” TMS stated. “Our downtown’s unique and welcoming atmosphere is the backdrop for a diverse mix of businesses, meeting the needs of today’s customer, with the personal service of yesteryear. Restored historic buildings and well-maintained storefronts showcase an interesting collection of retail shops, boutiques, eating and drinking establishments, residential units and professional service providers that are part of a prosperous downtown economy. An attractive downtown creates a friendly environment and strengthens connections with other Tomahawk business districts, surrounding attractions and neighborhoods.”

As a continued accredited Main Street member at both the state and national levels, TMS said its goals “align themselves in the four major areas for economic vitality of our businesses and enticing more entrepreneurs to open businesses in downtown.”

“We fundraise to keep a diverse income stream for organizational budget stability,” TMS stated. “We help with historic preservation in the design and maintenance of buildings and grounds. Our promotions foster community involvement and strive to unite the businesses in a common goal, so no one feels as if they are alone. A natural caring and friendly welcome awaits area residents, newcomers, visitors and returnees who have come to know downtown Tomahawk as the place to be – a tradition to enjoy and come home to.”

For additional information about TMS, visit www.tomahawkmainstreet.org.

About Main Street America

The release said Main Street America “leads a movement committed to strengthening communities through preservation-based economic development in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.”

“For more than 40 years, Main Street America has provided a practical, adaptable and impactful framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization through the Main Street Approach™,” the release stated. “Our network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.”

Since 1980, communities participating in the program have generated more than $107.62 billion in new public and private investment, generated 175,323 net new businesses and 782,059 net new jobs, rehabilitated more than 335,675 buildings and levered over 35.3 million volunteer hours, according to the release.

Main Street America is a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information on Main Street America, visit www.mainstreet.org.

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