Thirty-one communities now part of the downtown revitalization program 

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today Athens, located in McMinn County, has achieved Tennessee Main Street certification. Athens joins 30 other Tennessee Main Street communities that are certified through the state program and accredited by the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We are pleased to welcome Athens to our strong network of Tennessee Main Street communities,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “These communities have developed effective downtown revitalization organizations to improve their historic commercial districts. We enjoy helping them in their efforts to increase the economic viability of their core areas.” 

“Athens has been actively working on its downtown in recent years. They had success with the Tennessee Downtowns program and will continue those efforts as a designated Main Street community,” Tennessee Main Street Director Nancy Williams said.

In 2014, certified Main Street communities generated more than $95 million of public/private investment and created 1,565 new jobs. The other 30 certified Main Street program communities across Tennessee include Bolivar, Bristol, Brownsville, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Lebanon, McKenzie, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Ripley, Rogersville, Sevierville, Sweetwater, Tiptonville, Savannah, Union City and Winchester.

Athens’ designation is based upon successful applications submitted by Athens Mayor Ann S. Davis and Athens Downtown Business Association Patti Geek, with support from nine additional community leaders and associations. The Tennessee Main Street Program application requires communities to illustrate a strong commitment to a Main Street Program from city/county government, an adequate organizational budget, a commitment to hire staff, a strong historic preservation ethic, a collection of historic buildings and a walkable, historic commercial district.

Tennessee Main Street operates under the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, visit For more on the National Main Street Center, visit

The Athens Main Street application was supported by Sen. Mike Bell (R – Riceville) and Rep. John Forgety (R – Athens) in the Tennessee General Assembly.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:




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