County officials honored 11 Main Street Oakland County communities that met the challenging criteria for receiving national accreditation from the National Main Street Center.
Leaders from the 11 communities were each presented with awards during a news conference at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson praised the communities for their vision and commitment to making their downtowns attractive destinations for businesses, residents and visitors. Community and business leaders from many of the Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) communities were in attendance.
“The Main Street Oakland County program is our proven gem,” Patterson said. “I directed my staff to join Main Street 17 years ago, hoping to start a program of revitalization in downtowns in Oakland County. I’ve been thrilled with its success. It has created jobs and new businesses in a big way. I congratulate all of the communities on their national recognition.”
The accreditation process scores the communities on such criteria as community support, historic preservation ethic, mission and vision statements, having a paid professional manager and ongoing training. Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac and Rochester received perfect scores. The accreditation means a community scored 10 out of 10 on its annual evaluation.
Farmington was given a special recognition by Deputy County Executive Matthew Gibb for having received national accreditation for 10 years. It joins Ferndale, Lake Orion, Ortonville and Rochester as MSOC communities which have been accredited for at least 10 years.
Auburn Hills and South Lyon were both introduced as Affiliate MSOC members. Benefits and services are based on a community’s level of eligibility. Select communities receive the highest level of service followed by Associate and Affiliate. There are 24 communities in MSOC.
MSOC is one of Patterson’s most successful economic development initiatives. In 2016, Select-level communities generated $34 million of new investment, created 49 new businesses and rehabilitated 165 buildings. Since inception in 2000, total public and private investment was more than $740 million, 1,020 new businesses were established and more than 7,300 jobs were created.
Main Street is a trademarked program of the National Main Street Center. Oakland County is the first county in the United States to operate a full-service, countywide Main Street program.