Over the past few years, you might have noticed something called Main Street Alabama arriving in small, historic towns across the state. If you’ve ever been curious what that is, and what the organization does, we’ve got the scoop.

Alabama is full of historic communities, from Florence to Foley. Main Street Alabama began in 2009 as a way to support these communities. The aim of the organization is to preserve history, celebrate diversity, and create economic opportunity.

“Our mission is to work with downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts to revitalize those areas. In a lot of our communities, that’s the where the city began. Some of these may have a commercial district that’s adjacent to them as well. Our job really is revitalization.

We work with entrepreneurs and local businesses in these areas to make sure that they understand we want to help them be strengthened before we try to recruit any new business. Our job is to teach a community how to fish, so we provide a ton of technical support through Main Street Alabama to help them accomplish their unique goals. We’re boots on the ground, implementation-oriented”

Mary Heflin, Director, Main Street Alabama

The state organization is part of the national Main Street America, which has run programs like the ones you might be seeing in your hometowns across the country. Each Main Street Alabama group is run by community members, who apply through the state program to receive resources and coaching. The vast majority of the work within each town is accomplished by locals who want to see their home thrive. Read more at thebamabuzz.com.