Erie Downtown Partnership Receives 2021 National Main Street Accreditation

John Buchna

Thursday Jun 10th, 2021

The Erie Downtown Partnership has been designated as an accredited Main Street™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

 “We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.”

 In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings, and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.  

 The Erie Downtown Partnership’s performance is annually evaluated by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

 Over the last year the Erie Downtown Partnership has worked to amplify the importance of small businesses in the commercial core approving almost $80,000 in façade funds for ten built environment improvements, $55,000 in Main Street Relief + Recovery Grants to 21 small businesses downtown, sold almost $80,000 in downtown gift certificates redeemable at 50 downtown locations, reintroduced a downtown Farmers’ Market, created over 100 hours of virtual community building content in place of in-person events, continued robust cleaning services within the downtown removing over 130,000 pounds of litter and illegally dumped material, power washing city sidewalks, graffiti removal, weeding and mulching, watering trees and flowers, as well as providing over 750 hours of snow removal from city sidewalks.

 Emily Fetcko, Assistant Director and Main Street Manager of the Erie Downtown Partnership says, “During the pandemic we found new ways to deliver programs and services directly assisting over 100 small businesses with grants, resources, and advocacy .  We experimented with new outreach platforms and directed all of our resources to supporting them through this challenging time.  That will certainly continue as downtown density returns over the coming months.”

About Erie Downtown Partnership

The Erie Downtown Partnership, established in 2004, is a placemaking organization working to create and maintain the downtown experience as safe, fun, and welcoming.  The designated Downtown Improvement District manages 70 city blocks offering placemaking, marketing, and advocacy services and programs to their members—comprised of 420 businesses and property owners.

About Main Street America

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $89.57 billion in new public and private investment, generated 687,321 net new jobs and 154,435 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 303,836 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit