Racine & Me: Downtown Racine receives special recognition

Racine & Me: Downtown Racine receives special recognition

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Downtown Racine Corporation has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of Accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are very proud to acknowledge this year’s 862 Accredited Main Street America programs, and their steadfast dedication to nurture economically and culturally vibrant downtown districts,” said Hannah White, Interim President & CEO of Main Street America. “The increase in the size and impact of our network speaks volumes to the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of local communities and drive innovative solutions.”

In 2022, Main Street America programs generated $6.2 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 7,657 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 29,174 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,688 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,528,535 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $24.07 of new investment back into their downtown communities.

The Downtown Racine Corporation’s performance is annually evaluated by WEDC’s Wisconsin Main Street Program, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet rigorous national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, supporting small and locally owned businesses, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets.

“I am ecstatic at the strides we have made in Downtown Racine. Not only have we had over 60 new businesses open in the last 2 years, we (the DRC) also programmed over 80 event dates in 2022 with more slated this year,” stated DRC executive director, Kelly Kruse.

“The DRC is extremely proud of what was accomplished during 2022 and the level of economic activity that occurred despite obstacles,” stated Tim Mason, Chairman of the DRC Board of Directors. “Looking forward, we are excited about the opportunities that exist and the investments, such as Hotel Verdant and Breakwater 233 that are being made and are yet to come.”

In addition to this recent National accomplishment, Downtown Racine was recently recognized on the State level by WEDC (WI Economic Development Corp) for Best Special Event: Party on the Pavement, Best Cooperative Business Marketing for their Fashion Show on Monument Square and co-winner of the Diversity & Inclusion Award for their Black History Month campaign.

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