In January 2020 Murphy was selected by the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center to participate in the Downtown Associate Community (DAC) Program. The DAC program is the first step towards the NC Main Street Designation. The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center selects communities every other year via a competitive application process. North Carolina municipalities, with an identifiable traditional downtown business district and a certified population under 50,000 not already designated as a Main Street or Small Town Main Street community are eligible to apply to the Center for services under the Downtown Associate Community program. Selected communities will receive three years of downtown revitalization technical assistance services from the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center and may have the opportunity to move up to Main Street designation upon successful completion of the program.
North Carolina state staff work with eligible communities to equip them with the tools to build a sustainable organizational foundation and conduct strategic economic development planning, which strengthens their downtown development efforts.
It is a great honor and opportunity for Downtown Murphy to be selected for this program. The DAC process over the next three years will include the whole community including downtown property owners, downtown business owners, downtown residents, area residents, community leaders, and civic organizations.
The program will require volunteers to help in the Four Pillars of a Main Street Program:
• Organization: Building human and financial resources through public/private partnerships to achieve a common vision
• Promotion: Selling a positive image of downtown based on the assets of the community
• Design: Improving the physical aspects of downtown
• Economic Vitality: Strengthening the existing economic assets; expanding and diversifying the economic base
How will the DAC program benefit Downtown Murphy?
• Training: local Murphy representatives are eligible to attend and participate in the NC Main Street Conference, Main Street Basic Training, Board and Committee Training, Main Street Orientation, Main Street Manager’s Meetings, and Bi-Annual Regional meetings.
• Technical Assistance: The North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center’s staff will guide Murphy through
o Identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
o A Vision Forum that leads to a carefully written five-year vision statement and typically 1-4 specific economic development strategies
o A downtown implementation plan, based on the vision and economic development strategies and implemented through the Main Street Four Point
o Creation of an organizational structure to implement the plan
o Volunteer development
o Guidance and resources on ways to find and develop financial resources
o Bimonthly direction and instruction on the tasks required for program progression
o Bimonthly and annual Review and Assessment based on the program checklist
o Review and assistance with any existing projects and programs
• Network: Access to a special network of Main Street cities statewide from which Murphy can learn best practices, techniques and strategies for downtown development, and share and receive information through the Main Street listserv.
If you have further questions, please contact:
Laura Lachance - Downtown Development Director
at 828-837-2510 ext. 6