Wheeling Heritage has once again been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.
Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.
“We are thrilled to honor this year’s 829 nationally accredited Main Street America programs for their commitment to preservation-based economic development and the revitalization of their commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “The power of Main Street shines across the country through these vibrant communities, who have all worked to generate impressive economic returns, preserve community character, and celebrate local history.”
In 2017 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.48 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,211 net new businesses, generated 30,294 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,737 historic buildings, and clocked 2.7 million volunteer hours.
Wheeling Heritage’s performance is evaluated annually by Main Street West Virginia, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
Wheeling Heritage works to shape downtown Wheeling’s revitalization through three types of programs: historic preservation and interpretation, community development, and arts and recreation.
Through efforts of Wheeling Heritage and its partners, the National Heritage area has a substantial impact on the economy. According to an economic impact study by Tripp Umbach, Wheeling Heritage brings an average of $86.6 million to the area annually through tourism, grant making and capital projects. The organization’s efforts helped to bring an average of $6.4 million in tax revenue and 550,000 visitors to Wheeling through grant making, heritage site restoration and community development each year from 2014 to 2016.