The City of Swainsboro has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach™.
“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”
The City of Swainsboro’s performance is evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet ten rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines 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.
Swainsboro’s Main Street Program is managed by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which has been a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown Swainsboro. As one of the five original Georgia Main Street Cities designated in the 1980s, Swainsboro reclaimed its accreditation as a state and national Main Street City in 2016 and has worked diligently in maintaining the distinction since. In 2019, five downtown Swainsboro properties received physical improvements and five new businesses were opened, creating 20 new jobs. Approximately 1,900 volunteer hours were invested in downtown projects and special events held in the district, which drew more than 36,000 people downtown over the course of the year.
“Partnerships among the City of Swainsboro, Downtown Development Authority, volunteers, and other local businesses and organizations have been the key to our maintaining an active downtown with an exciting atmosphere full of shops, restaurants, and unique events,” said Lynn Brinson, Director of Downtown Development. “The National Main Street Center and Georgia Main Street Program have been wonderful assets in our quest to continually improve downtown Swainsboro and stimulate our local economy.”
Main Street America accreditation and Georgia Classic Main Street designation bring many benefits including technical assistance and training opportunities in the areas of historic preservation, architecture and design, and economic development, among others; special access to a variety of funding programs; and the support of a network of partner communities and organizations.
"Anyone who cares about Swainsboro can be very proud of the work our DDA does and the recent accreditation it has received. For smaller cities like ours, the Main Street program is a valuable tool to help maintain an energetic and attractive town center. It’s just another way to show the pride we have in our town," said Mayor Charles Schwabe.
Swainsboro’s Main Street Program is led by the City of Swainsboro’s Department of Downtown Development and the Downtown Development Authority of Swainsboro Board of Directors. The 2020 DDA Board of Directors is composed of: Gary Mason, board chair; Dr. David Davis; Stephanie Flanders; Anna Gambrell; Daisy Reeves; Jim Roberts; James Ward; Mayor Charles Schwabe (ex-officio); Ken Warnock (ex-officio); and Michael Bright (ex-officio). Lynn Brinson is the Director of Downtown Development.
To keep up with the latest news and announcements from downtown Swainsboro, follow along on Facebook @downtownswainsboro.