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RACINE – Downtown Racine Corporation (DRC) has again been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program by the Main Street America organization. Racine joins 863 communities throughout the U.S. meeting performance standards for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization.

DRC’s performance is evaluated annually by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) Wisconsin Main Street Program, which works with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet the rigorous national performance standards. Evaluation criteria include fostering strong public-private partnerships, supporting small and locally-owned businesses, and actively preserving historic places, spaces and cultural assets.

DRC was first designated for the Wisconsin Main Street Program in 2018. It also earned the Main Street America accreditation in 2021.

“Despite the intense challenges we faced, we were able to pivot and provide major resources to the Downtown merchants. Our emphasis is always on keeping our Downtown economically stable,” DRC Executive Director Kelly Kruse said in a news release.

Downtown Racine’s impact over the years

Last year, the DRC reported a record-breaking 35 new businesses opened Downtown. That’s compared with 10 new openings in 2020 and 24 in 2019. In addition, the WEDC Bounceback program awarded $10,000 grants to 28 businesses.

Springtime at Monument Square – Credit: Downtown Racine Corp.

In 2021, the DRC hosted 65 events, including live music, wine and beer walks, Party on the Pavement and the Holiday Parade. Those events attracted more than 16,000 visitors. This year, 70 events are scheduled.

DRC is the only organization that is 100 percent committed and responsible to a thriving and vibrant downtown. For more information, visit www.racinedowntown.com.

Main Street America is a 40+-year-old movement committed to strengthening communities through preservation-based economic development in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. It is a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Visit: https://www.mainstreet.org/home.


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...