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Posted on: April 17, 2017

Madison Named a GEMS

On April 4, 2017, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced that 8 new Georgia Main Street Cities will become part of the current Georgia’s Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) Program. These communities join 8 existing programs as proven leaders in downtown development.

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Together, each of these 16 cities has been carefully selected due to the overwhelmingly positive impact that the Main Street Program has had on its local historic district. From new businesses and job creation, to rehabilitation projects and downtown housing, these communities have set themselves apart with their annual economic impact numbers and focus on historic preservation.

Of the 94 Main Street programs that participated in the highly competitive annual assessment process, only 16 cities stood out amongst the rest. Collectively, they represent 473,200 Georgia citizens and 8 service delivery regions. The selected cities are: Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus, Dahlonega, Greensboro, Madison, Milledgeville, Moultrie, Newnan, Rome, Statesboro, Thomasville, Tifton, Toccoa, Tybee Island, and Valdosta.

“These communities are united by common attributes that help make them the strongest commercial historic districts in the state – a strong commitment to historic preservation and planning, stable leadership and active municipal support,” said Jessica Reynolds, Director of the Office of Downtown Development at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which houses the Georgia Main Street program.

As GEMS communities, these Main Street programs gain access to special one-on-one technical services offered by the Office of Downtown Development, such as strategic planning sessions, board retreats and work plan development, along with scholarship opportunities and discounted rates for training and design services.
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