Beating The Odds
Florence’s downtown was awarded the 2023 Great American Main Street Award for excellence.
Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) recognizes communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization.
For decades, the area suffered from a negative public perception fueled by empty storefronts, racial divides, and a practice of demolishing neglected, yet culturally significant, buildings in favor of new construction.
Through initiatives, dedicated volunteers, established partnerships, and support catalytic projects, this plan generated over 100 units of new housing, $300 million in investment, and over 90 new businesses.
”Being selected as a winner of the 2023 Great American Main Street Award is an unbelievable honor—it’s the once-in-a-lifetime achievement representing the boundless investment, hard work, tenacity, and vision from local investors and partners, small business owners and residents, government officials and leaders, and our statewide Main Street network over the last twenty years—and especially over the last decade,” remarked Hannah L. Davis, Main Street Program Manager at Downtown Florence Main Street. “Once described as too far gone to be saved, Downtown Florence has become the place to be, to live, and to do business in our region, and we aren’t done yet!”
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