Main Street Receives Accreditation for 20th Consecutive Year

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 8, 2021 at 9:03am

Jacksonville Main Street has reached a milestone of consistency that is two decades in the making.

Main Street America has named Jacksonville Main Street as an accredited Main Street program for 2021. It marks the 20th consecutive year that Jacksonville Main Street has achieved the distinction.

Executive Director, Judy Tighe says Jacksonville Main Street’s performance is annually evaluated by Illinois Main Street, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards.

‘It means that we have met all of the standards that National Main Street requires. So basically it means we are doing all the stuff that we are supposed to do. They put out a list of criteria and we’ve managed to meet that list for twenty years now.”

Tighe says some of that criteria includes having a full-time executive director and functioning committees that support Main Street’s mission and stated goals.

National Main Street has what they call the four-point approach. It entails organization, design, economic vitality, and promotion. So we have done projects and continue to do projects, and have plans to do more projects that fall into all four of those categories.”

Tighe says the accreditation gives Jacksonville Main Street a legitimacy for their purpose and fundraising activities.

Another thing that accreditation does is that it underscores that we are affiliated with the national program, and meet the same standards that everyone has to meet in order to be accredited with them. So it assures the public that, you know, we’re legit. That we are not just a fly-by-night charity trying to hold fundraisers. That we are legitimately trying to do something with the funds that we raise, and moving forward we have plans.”

Tighe says Main Street America took into consideration the many events and projects that could not be undertaken last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. She says during that time, Main Street paid particular attention to the support Main Street Organizations gave to their local businesses during the tough times.

According to the Main Street America announcement, in 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings, and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.