First, it smoothly transitioned with the Downtown Merchants’ Association, an organization that had led the downtown efforts for many years. Now, most of the new committees formed by Elizabethton’s Main Street are populated with members from the old merchants’ organization doing the same things under a new banner or Downtown Merchants’ members doing things they had been wanting to start.
The transition reached its smoothest point earlier this month when the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced on Feb. 11 that Elizabethton had achieved Tennessee Main Street accreditation. The announcement provided a great deal of satisfaction for Courtney Washburn, Main Street Program director for Elizabethton, and for Frankie Bailey, board president for Main Street of Elizabethton and business owner of the Coffee Company in downtown Elizabethton.
The two have seen the organization grow and begin work on needed projects. There are now about 60 businesses that are members of Elizabethton Main Street. But there is still plenty of room for the organization to grow. Bailey said there are about 137 businesses in the area covered by Main Street.
That area is bounded on the west by Lynn Avenue and on the east by U.S. Highway 19E. It is bounded on the south by Doe Avenue and on the north by East E Street. Much of the area inside that boundary is zoned as central business district.
Now that there has been a smooth transition and Main Street is accredited, what are the goals and objectives. Well, that is still an area that is being decided by the members. Washburn said most of the work is being done by the five committees of the organization.
The focus is on a four-point transformation strategy, which includes: design, organization, economic vitality, and promotion.