The revitalization of downtown Brunswick has not gone unnoticed.

The Brunswick Downtown Development Authority has been designated as an accredited Main Street America Program because of the growing number of new businesses opening in 2018 and the meticulous record keeping done by city officials tasked with documenting the city’s growth.

Brunswick has earned the Main Street designation since 1986, but the city is one of fewer than 10 percent of the recipients in Georgia to earn the Exceptional Main Street award.

The national award was given to 840 municipalities that show a commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization, said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.

“These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character and celebrating local history,” Frey said. “Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of change makers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.”

Mathew Hill, director of the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, said during the past three years the city has earned the “exceptional” designation, which is awarded to a handful of cities in Georgia.

“I think it’s a pretty big deal,” Hill said. “It says the county, the community, the city as a whole does more to make Brunswick what it is.”

The designation also makes the city eligible for grants specifically intended for Main Street participants.

Downtown Brunswick hosted 307 events with more than 100,000 people attending. Another 61 new businesses have opened, creating 151 new jobs and a total public/private investment of more that $17.1 million downtown.

Nationwide, the Main Street program generated more than $4.9 billion in local reinvestment, helping to open more than 5,300 new businesses and generating more than 25,000 new jobs. The program also helped with the rehabilitation of more than 8,100 historic buildings and generated more than 2.2 million in volunteer hours.

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