Development Authority/Main Street Program

In 2008, City Officials confirmed their commitment to Tybee's Main Corridor by pursuing Better Hometown designation and achieving it in 2010.  Since then, volunteers work with the program's board and committees to actively lead sustainable improvements through their input and hard work.  The Georgia Office of Downtown Development merged Main Street and Better Hometown Programs in 2013, making Tybee Island one of the Georgia cities part of the largest MS (state) networks in the country.  Read the media release announcing the merger here.

Tybee is proud to be a Classic Main Street (MS) Community, in partnership with the National Main Street Center.  The program follows the proven Main Street 4-Point Approach(tm), which focuses on revitalization and enhancements appropriate for today’s marketplace for long-term vitality.    This approach advocates a return to community-reliance, local empowerment, and improving traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.

The program is led by a strong Board of Directors and Committee Members with assistance from the City's Executive Director Development Authority / Main Street and Volunteers to improve the community's quality of life through sound planning and implementation with private and public partnerships.  Assistance comes from partnerships on a local, state, and national level to provide resources, technical assistance, and advice to stimulate quality revitalization.  The "sense of place" is maintained to benefit Island businesses, residents and guests through understanding the local needs, opportunities and the island's unique assets year-round. Our approach is incremental in order to ensure a lasting effect with aspects of design / preservation, business assistance, promotion, and organization.   

Since the program began, it has evolved and continues to flourish for the City of Tybee as a whole.  From highly visible to the subtlest of changes, there have been a number of noteworthy successes due to strong partnerships and planning.  A brief synopsis of the successes include:

-     Implemented, improved and maintain lines of communication among Merchants, Residents, and the City via monthly e-newsletters, meetings, and social media.
-     Conceptualized, implemented, and promote the Buy Local Tybee concept.
-     Conceptualized, implemented, and manage the Locals Appreciation Card program for 28 merchants and 300+ residents. 
-     Successfully branded the Main Street “vibe” for the town by integrating art, history, commerce, nature, and community into our logo utilizing the town’s zip code. 
-     Obtained over $18,000 in grant monies to assist the City with buying and strategically placing trash receptacles along heavily used sidewalks.
-     Obtained over $11,000 in grant monies to build awareness and sustain the anti-litter campaignKeep Tybee Tidy.
-     Encouraging preservation activities and highlighting the importance and benefits of protecting the island’s unique architectural details and heritage. 
-     Conceptualized, implemented, review, and award Facade Improvement Grants for commercial buildings with $1,500 in donations.
-     Coordinate Ribbon Cutting Celebrations, and the like, for new entrepreneurs / businesses celebrating a milestone anniversary with City Officials and the public.
    Initiated and manage the Tybee Island Information Providers Program at the Info Hut in Downtown Tybee and create materials for posting.  Develop partnerships to create jobs to maintain this service created to assist visitors (to date 4,000+ visitors have been assisted). 
-     Conceptualized, implemented, manage, and create materials for the Informational Kiosk at the Park of Seven Flags.
-     Coordinate and host twelve annual city-sponsored community events that highlight the arts, the businesses, and the community's well-being; coordinate with other’s hosting events and track the economic impact of events throughout the year (to date totals over $4.5 million).    
As an entity of the City, the Program Director and Board Members are fiscally responsible with the budget allocated by the City to do identified projects throughout the year.  Each year, the Board of Directors host a retreat to review the previous year's works completed and plan for the next year based on public feedback.  The 2016-17 Work Plan can be viewed by clicking here.  Thank you to those that provided feedback, from which the work plans were developed!   
Donations to assist in helping ensure the impact we have to keep Tybee Island strong and vibrant are appreciated.  The donation form can be found here.  

Sign up here to receive the Main Street Talk e-newsletter for community news, preservation highlights, 
and door-to-door news.

+     fblogo for the latest posts