Foley Main Street wins big at Main Street Alabama Annual Conference

Staff Report
Posted 8/31/22

Foley Main Street brought home three awards from the ninth annual Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence Banquet Aug. 18 in Opelika, Alabama.Main Street programs across the state strive to bring …

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Foley Main Street wins big at Main Street Alabama Annual Conference


Foley Main Street brought home three awards from the ninth annual Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence Banquet Aug. 18 in Opelika, Alabama.

Main Street programs across the state strive to bring jobs, money and people back to historic communities. Foley Main Street's primary focus is to increase awareness of the Downtown Foley district and its businesses, as well as work with the existing businesses to increase their strength and vibrancy.

"The main street approach is all about partnering with people, businesses, the city and organizations to improve our downtown district," said Darrelyn Dunmore, Foley Main Street executive director. "We are so proud and honored, as a young organization, to be recognized with these awards of excellence."

Foley Main Street's hard work was recognized with three awards of excellence: Excellence in Business Development: Envision Downtown Foley; Excellence in Preservation Award: Downtown Foley Historic self-guided walking tour; and Excellence in Fundraising: It's Our Birthday Campaign.

"Foley Main Street awards reflect the hard work and dedication by its members to make our downtown the most vibrant around," said Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich. "Every year they move forward to help our city."

The Excellence in Business Development award recognizes outstanding efforts to improve the district business climate, fill market gaps, create new markets, incentives, retention and recruitment efforts. The Foley Main Street Economic Vitality committee's quarterly stakeholder meetings always ended up with the same questions: Who do we want to attract, how are we going to attract them and what is our vision? Envision Downtown Foley forms a detailed downtown plan to compliment the city's comprehensive plan.

Also needed was a new Market Study and a Consumer Business Survey. Foley Main Street decided to pursue all three at the same time. Main Street Alabama, the City of Foley and four new corporate sponsors C-Spire, Thompson Engineering, South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and 200 W. Laurel supported the scope of work.

The Downtown Foley Historic Tour secured an Excellence in Preservation Award. This award recognizes outstanding local efforts to preserve a local Main Street District history, preservation education efforts such as walking tours and historic designation. In partnership with the City of Foley and the Alabama Historic Commission, a historic downtown walking tour booklet of 11 stops and a companion self-guided walking tour was created. The Community Development Department of the City of Foley submitted the grant. Foley Main Street helped research and gathered material for use in both the booklet and the virtual tour. The Foley Main Street Distrx app supports the self-guided walking historic tour in the geo-mapped area of Foley Main Street. Each stop activates a written description and history of the structure, shows photos of the structure and an audio clip starts.

Excellence in Fundraising recognizes a Main Street program for outstanding local fundraising activity or campaign, displaying creativity and success in securing funds for the district program or specific project. Foley Main Street's first fundraising campaign, "Happy Third Birthday" won recognition with this award. Starting from nothing, the private investment goal was $29,500. The result was $42,250. The best result though, was the new partnerships that were formed throughout the process.

Since its inception in June 2018, Foley Main Street has recorded 33 net new businesses, $1,038,298 public dollars invested, $7,019,253 private dollars invested, and 2,896 volunteer hours invested.

For more information about Foley Main Street visit

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