Farmington receives national accreditation in downtown development efforts

What’s happening: The City of Farmington has once again been recognized for its economic development and community revitalization efforts in their historic downtown, having been named as one of 12 Oakland County communities to receive national accreditation from Main Street America in 2021.

What it is: The Chicago-based Main Street America is a program of the National Main Street Center, which itself is a subsidiary of National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program recognizes historic and traditional downtowns, like downtown Farmington, for the work put in to keep their “main streets” vital and thriving in the 21st century. Communities must meet requirements in 10 categories to receive accreditation, demonstrating a commitment to community support, historic preservation, and more.

Why it’s important: According to Main Street Oakland County, their program is “the first and only county in the U.S. to operate a full-service, countywide Main Street coordinating program.” The county works closely with its Main Street communities, offering support and resources.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, Main Street Oakland County communities and their small businesses had access to special tool kits, resources, and PPE supplies to weather the economic storm brought on by the pandemic. A successful crowdfunding campaign raised over $100,000 to help small businesses within those communities.

Who else made the cut: Additional Oakland County communities receiving national accreditation in 2021 include Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, and Royal Oak.

What they’re saying: “During a challenging year, our Main Street communities worked tirelessly to ensure their downtowns and commercial districts remained open, vital and vibrant for their residents and visitors,” says Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “They were critical partners in getting re-open kits, restaurant equipment and grant funding to their small businesses and they continue to play a critical role in this next stage of economic recovery.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.