Metuchen, New Jersey –Metuchen Downtown Alliance has been designated as an accredited Main Street™ 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 proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.”
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.
The Metuchen Downtown Alliance’s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street New Jersey, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 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, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
“Our continued focus on business development is what allowed for a quick pivot in response to COVID-19, making Metuchen a model example for downtown resilience during a crisis,” said Isaac Kremer, MDA executive director. “Main Street accreditation shows that the Metuchen Downtown Alliance is performing at a top level,” according to Kremer.
Last year in 2020 over $13 million was secured in 2020 to assist businesses with COVID response and recovery. This includes a $655,628 Main Street New Jersey COVID recovery grant and an additional $19,000 AARP Community Challenge grant. Working with the Borough of Metuchen and other partners outdoor dining regulations were relaxed and opportunities expanded for patrons to dine outside. This included installation of 65 infrared heaters and four dining structures on New Street that met wind, snow, and fire rating requirements for dining in cold weather months. Over $25,000 was raised from 225 private donors to purchase 1,685 meals for first responders from local restaurants. Curbside pickup also expanded access to businesses for customers who were not comfortable going indoors.
“Without the amazing track record accumulated over the last four years, the MDA would not have had the ability to secure such vital funding,” said Eric Berger, MDA chairman, in reference to the five-year Strategic Plan adopted by the MDA in August 2017. That plan and more details about the work of the MDA may be found on the “About Us” page of our website at www.downtownmetuchen.org.
ABOUT METUCHEN DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE
The Metuchen Downtown Alliance is a volunteer-based, nonprofit downtown management corporation dedicated to the management and revitalization of the designated Metuchen business district (the District) in partnership with stakeholders, residents, municipal government, and other partners. Since being founded in 2016, Metuchen has seen over 126 business starts, more than $150 million of investment, and added 387 apartments downtown.
ABOUT MAIN STREET AMERICA
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $89.57 billion in new public and private investment, generated 687,321 net new jobs and 154,435 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 303,836 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit www.mainstreet.org.