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Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance Receives 2014 National Main Street Accreditation

Gig Harbor, WA (July 31, 2014) -- For the third consecutive year, The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach®.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by The Washington State Main Street Program, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

2013 was a hugely successful year for the Alliance with the Branding and Image project, retail market study, Summer Storefront Studio Project, the Summer Trolley Project, Girls Night Out with over 600 participants, a new website, and over 3,000 hours of volunteer involvement. 2014 promises to be equally as productive with the "Essentials of Effective Storefront" workshop being attended by 50+ individuals and businesses, a Tourism Assessment Study, the development of Thursday Night Out, the return of the Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival, the summer flower basket program and volunteer hours on track to match or exceed 2013.

"It is rewarding to have our efforts and commitment to the Main Street Program recognized by the National Main Street Center, and to be an accredited member of the State Main Street network" said Mary DesMarais, Executive Director of the Alliance.

The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to bringing together community and waterfront district stakeholders, encouraging economic vitality and preserving our historic character. The Alliance was first designated as a Washington State Main Street program in 2011. The office is located at 3311 Harborview Drive, Suite 101. For information about the Alliance contact Mary DesMarais, Executive Director, at (253) 514-0071.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 34 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $59.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 502,728 net new jobs and 115,381 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 246,158 buildings, leveraging an average of $33.28 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.