NASHVILLE – Gov. Phil Bredesen and Rep. Matthew Hill congratulate Johnson City for earning a $10,000 Main Street Innovation Grant to develop gateway signs for the downtown district.

“This grant allows communities to get creative and pursue a forward-thinking approach to community development,” said Bredesen. “I applaud the leaders of Johnson City for taking advantage of the Main Street Innovation Grant to improve its downtown commercial district.”

The Main Street Innovation Grant, which requires communities to match 20 percent, supports the development of new, innovative projects, programs, activities and technology that exhibit best practices in downtown revitalization. The Johnson City grant will fund fabrication, installation and labor for two gateway signs.

“This grant will help improve the community’s downtown commercial district,” Rep. Hill said. “I want to commend city leaders for recognizing the importance of this project and making the necessary plans to secure funding.”

He added, “This funding support will be a great benefit to the city and provide much needed improvements to preserve Johnson City’s historic downtown.”

“I am pleased to award these Main Street Communities with funding to improve their historic downtown districts,” said ECD Commissioner Matthew Kisber. “Making an investment in these communities helps our state maintain a positive business climate, creating an environment where companies can grow and succeed, and providing more Tennesseans with higher-paying, better-skilled jobs.”

The Main Street program is a statewide program that provides communities with technical assistance and guidance in developing long-term strategies that promote economic development, historic preservation and growth in traditional commercial districts across Tennessee. The program requires certified Tennessee Main Street communities to meet National Accreditation standards which include broad-based community support for the program, a comprehensive work plan, a sufficient operating budget and adequate staff and volunteer support.

The Main Street “Four-point Approach to Downtown Revitalization” is a comprehensive, incremental, self-help economic strategy that focuses on developing public-private partnerships to enhance community livability and job creation, while maintaining the historic character of their downtown district. Tennessee Main Street is a coordinating program of the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information on the Tennessee Main Street Program, visit ECD online.