Cartersville Downtown Development Authority & Main Street Program honor grant and award recipients

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Media release: Approximately 50 people gathered at Louie’s Café in historic downtown Cartersville on March 12, 2015, for the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority& Main Street Program Annual Banquet. DDA/Main Street Program Manager Tara Currier offered an overview of the various accomplishments from the previous year, before turning the program over to representatives of the board of directors to recognize individuals who made financial investments into downtown in the last year, as well as those who have gone above and beyond in assisting the DDA and Main Street Program.

“It was great to see so many downtown business and property owners, as well as others with a vested interest in downtown, at our annual banquet Thursday evening,” said Currier. “The evening serves as an opportunity for DDA to update everyone on the various events, initiatives and activities that have been implemented or completed in the past 12 months. Of course it is not just the work of board and staff, and so it is great to publicly acknowledge other individuals who have assisted in the efforts of making downtown such a great place to live, work and play.”

Notable accomplishments highlighted at the event included the approval of the Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) budget amendment (which lead to the installation of free Wi-Fi around the downtown train depot; a free, mobile app; and the completion of a downtown design proposal); improved special events; passing of the festival ordinance; being named to the National Register of Historic Places; and receiving the Downtown Development Program of the Year award, which is the highest honor given to a downtown in the state. Currier then went on to share some of the goals for 2015, and the changes to the grant program offered through DDA.

The program was then handed over to Design Chair Earline Burke, to recognize those who have made improvements to downtown buildings. Property owner John Lewis received two Design Improvement Grants for work on his downtown buildings, and Lisa Hamilton, owner of Blue Sky Outfitters, received a grant for the new sign she had installed at her business. Individuals who invested $10,000 or more downtown in 2014 were then recognized and presented with a Golden Nail Award. This year’s recipients included Evelyn Edmondson; Muriel Creagan and Mike Spidel of LaVida Massage; and Josh McWhorter of Midas Appreciation.

To conclude the evening, Chair Nancy Jackson presented the final three awards. Recognized for his assistance to the DDA board and staff, and vested interest in seeing positive changes downtown, was Assistant City Manager Dan Porta, who received the Good Government Award. The Downtown Champion Award was given to Sally Anne and Harold Burdette, which Harold accepted to a standing ovation. It is people like Sally Anne and Harold, who have a vision for great business, that make downtowns thrive. The last award of the evening went to Promotions Chair Lara Jeanneret. Receiving the Chairman’s’ Award, Jackson shared information about the work Lara has done to help rebrand downtown, and her leadership with the Cartersville Bluegrass & Folk Festival as well as countless other events and activities.

“It is so exciting to recognize individuals who have aided not only the DDA and Main Street Program, but downtown as a whole,” continued Currier. “Having an attractive, safe, well diversified downtown takes countless people with an interest in downtown to happen. We are blessed in downtown Cartersville to have such great shops, services, attractions and restaurants, and plenty of events and activities to enjoy. It’s a privilege to share the passion and vision for a great downtown with countless others in this community.”