TN Downtowns is a program under the umbrella of TN Main Street. As revitalization surges through small downtowns, this program has become more popular. Towns apply for the program with a committee of volunteers, and if chosen, are awarded a $15,000 grant to jump start the revitalization. The first year of the grant award is primarily education for the committee allowing them to attend numerous seminars. Representatives from the program (both local and national) visit the town and work with committees to create a plan for the grant money and build a vision for the community. In the second year, the grant money is awarded. Allowable projects include signage, streetscapes, facades, awnings, landscape, lighting, windows, doors, way-finding signs, benches, crosswalks, and other projects that improve the look and feel of a downtown area. UCDD has also collaborated with TTU, coordinating interns from the College of Human Ecology to work with downtowns on design and merchandising. This program opens doors for other grant awards for downtown revitalization.
Virginia Alexander, ECD Assistant Director