Richmond Main Street Initiative earns 2021 national accreditation

Richmond Main Street Initiative earns 2021 national accreditation
Photo credited to Richmond Main Street Initiative

By Kathy Chouteau 

Citing a series of successes in supporting local residents and businesses amid the global pandemic, the Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), tasked since 2002 with revitalizing the city’s downtown corridor, announced this week it has achieved its annual designation as an accredited Main Street program.

RMSI is evaluated each year by California Main Street Alliance, in partnership with Main Street America, as part of a process that ascertains which local programs meet ten national performance standards.

In receiving its accreditation, RMSI said it has satisfied criteria including fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings in its effort to create impactful and sustainable revitalization programs in the community.

Calling the organization’s work in downtown Richmond vitally important during 2020, RMSI Interim Executive Director Alicia Gallo underscored her team’s swift response to community needs. RMSI said it pivoted during the pandemic to provide 2,200 hours of maintenance and hospitality services, deliver 115 hours of assistance to 82 local businesses and successfully take numerous marquee events virtual.

In one example, the organization launched a #HeartofRichmond digital marketing initiative last June that aimed to amplify the voices of downtown Richmond businesses via eblasts with interview profiles/photos, social media outreach and more. Also during the pandemic, the organization spurred a fundraising effort and forged multiple partnerships to provide local community members and businesses with personal protective equipment (PPE).

“This accreditation is a testament to our unique Main Street Approach and we are honored to be recognized for our role in this national movement to celebrate community character, preserve local heritage and drive grassroots economic development,” said Gallo.

RMSI is one of 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs being recognized this year for working “tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president & CEO of Main Street America.

Learn more about RMSI’s work here.