Seymour Main Street has been designated an accredited Main Street America program for meeting performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.
Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said the accreditation benefits the community in a couple of ways.
“It will allow us to apply for some grants that we were not eligible for when we were not a National Main Street,” she said. “It also will allow for extra learning opportunities and resources for myself as director.”
The accreditation process included a site visit and a three-hour interview with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, she said.
“They went through a checklist to see if Seymour had met national requirements, including having a strategic plan, a budget, a board of directors and bylaws, a plan for fundraising and an active board,” she said.
Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.
“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, president and chief executive officer of the National Main Street Center.
“These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character and celebrating local history,” Frey said. “Main Street America accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of change-makers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.”
In 2018 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.93 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 5,310 new businesses, generated 25,301 new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,146 historic buildings and clocked 2.2 million volunteer hours.
Seymour Main Street’s performance is annually evaluated by Indiana Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards.
Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.