The Main Street Scottsboro Resource Team recently visited Scottsboro.

The team composed of five individuals with Main Street Alabama, Downtown Professionals Network and Community Design Solutions, met with citizens to hear their visions for the downtown area. The team later gave their recommendations for Main Street Scottsboro.
During the recommendation presentation some of the weaknesses and problems presented included lack of evening activities and entertainment opportunities, parking, handicap accessibility, high rental costs and the condition of buildings. The team included history and architecture, location and ease of access, new streetscape and safety as top strengths and assets. The team suggested later restaurant hours, a brewery, more retail, a farmers’, artisans’ market  and loft apartments downtown. Music events, culturally diverse events, the revival of First Monday, family entertainment and more parades were also suggested.
The team expressed that downtown is for everyone, it is a reflection of community pride, a gathering place.
City of Scottsboro Events and Marketing Coordinator Meg Nippers says, “It was great to see people from Scottsboro and Jackson County come together in the brainstorming sessions. So many wonderful ideas were voiced, some more popular than others. The Main Street team did a fantastic job of showing us how these ideas can come to life in Scottsboro. It will take time for some of the ideas to develop, but I am excited to see Main Street Scottsboro in action.”
Main Street Alabama’s four point approach included recommendations that Main Street Scottsboro apply for tax exemption status, operate with  a working board of directors and create four committees to represent each of the four points.  Under promotion, it was recommended that events like the Jubilee to showcase local products be held, festivals to showcase Scottsboro’s well known things be created and an event centered around famous Scottsboro authors be held.  Under economic vitality it was recommended that citizens and business owners be educated about parking downtown. The group showed how much money was lost each year by a business owner parking in their own front door. A suggestion was also made that “for rent” signs be placed with “opportunity” posters.  Under design it was suggested that the mess downtown be minimized, that a functional “screen” to hide garbage canisters be implemented, that pops of color be added with small bistro tables and seating spaces be added and that the retail areas be maximized by creating micro retail spaces in front of attorney’s offices.
Main Street Programs are more than having great events and making downtown look better. At its core, Main Street is an Economic Development tool that enhances the tax base of a community, fosters entrepreneurship, builds community capacity and creates partnerships among key groups in a community. 

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