Updated: Jun 15
For more than 40 years, the Main Street America movement has been committed to strengthening communities by revitalizing older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts through preservation-based economic development.
The Dallas Main Street Program was considered a start-up Main Street program in 2021 and later became a Downtown Affiliate Network. After completing the rigorous accreditation process in January 2023, the Dallas Main Street Program was invited to apply to become a Classic Main Street Program. Becoming an accredited Classic Main Street Program is a mark of distinction. This level of recognition given is for the commitment of building grassroots revitalization programs, fostering strong public-private partnerships, nurturing economic opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets. "It has been wonderful to support the City of Dallas on its journey to accreditation over the past two years. While they have a beautiful courthouse, great shops, and tons of opportunities that lie ahead, it's their leadership and commitment to downtown revitalization that has really set them apart." -Jessica Reynolds, Director, Office of Downtown Development
The City of Dallas has become a designated Classic Main Street Program by Georgia Main Street and the Department of Community Affairs. Jessica Worthington, Director of the Office of Downtown Development and Georgia Main Streets, and Elizabeth Elliott, Downtown Preservation Planner came to Dallas for a presentation given by Main Street Manager Shannon Gordon that demonstrated how Downtown Dallas is meeting Main Street America’s Six Standards for Accreditation. Many Main Street Advisory Board members were in attendance including Christina Henggeler (Georgia Highlands College), Kelli Prewett (owner of Kitsch and Color), Alex Davis (owner of Alex Davis Farmers Insurance Agency, and Leah Alls (City of Dallas City Council) were in attendance. The others who came to show their support was county commissioners Keith Dunn and Brian Stover, City Manager Kendall Smith, councilman Jim Henson and Business Development Director Amber Whisner and additional city staff. After the presentation, Shannon Gordon gave Jessica and Elizabeth a tour of downtown to show them the challenges, opportunity, and plans for Main Street and the surround local area.
According to Georgia Main Street, “all Classic Main Street programs are annually accredited by the state of Georgia and designated by the National Main Street Center. These communities have set themselves apart by emphasizing historic preservation education and economic development, leading to an active and vibrant downtown.” Dallas Main Street Manager Shannon Gordon says, “When you look at many of the successful downtowns across the state, majority of them are Main Street communities using the proven and successful Main Street Approach. The city of Dallas has worked so hard to become a Main Street Program over the last two years and I can’t wait to see what we are able to accomplish with the help of Georgia Main Street and the resources and knowledge it provides.”
In the last year, Dallas Main Street introduced two new events to Downtown which led to record sales days for multiple businesses in our Main Street District. The local program also introduced its own gift certificate program, Downtown Dollars, which can be purchased in the Business Development Office (200 Main Street) and can be spent at 16 participating businesses located in Downtown Dallas and the immediate surrounding Downtown Development Authority (DDA) District.
The Dallas Main Street Program is continuously working to bring new small businesses and events to downtown Dallas. Learn more about the program by visiting mydallasga.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @mydallasga.
The Georgia Main Street Program began in 1980 as one of the original pilot state coordinating programs of the National Main Street Initiative launched by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program launched with five local communities and has grown to serve 100+ communities statewide. Georgia Main Streets represent some of the strongest central business districts in the state and in the Southeast. Since it started, the designated community programs have been instrumental in leading the state in historic preservation, small business development, expansion of the state’s employment base, leveraging private investment, increasing tourism and providing a positive road map for public-private partnerships. Housed in the Office of Downtown Development at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Main Street is a signature program for community development and revitalization in Georgia’s historic downtowns.