The Main Street Sylva Association is a non-profit entity formed with the mission to spur economic development in the town of Sylva using the National Main Street Center’s Four Point Approach: Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring. The initiatives will not only benefit downtown Sylva, but all of the Sylva Main Street Corridor and arteries from the Dillsboro city limits through the end of the Sylva City limits on Highway 107.
The organization has taken on some of Sylva’s longstanding events such as Greening Up the Mountains, Treat Street and the Christmas Parade. Board members represent key areas of Sylva related to the Main Street program, such as independent businesses, the arts, garden & streetscape, historic preservation, county and town planning and residential.
When asked what the organization does, Board member, Bernadette Peters replied, “To start, we have focused on the “promotion” pillar by reviving many of the town’s annual events that bring many people to Sylva, but our ultimate goal is to also focus on initiatives that will improve and build upon what is appealing about Sylva, and attract more great businesses, residents and visitors to our town.”
Town Manager, Paige Dowling, plays a key roll in the organization by acting as a liaison between the association and the town of Sylva. “The National Main Steet Program’s approach is giving us a strong framework to leverage designated funding for revitalization, planning, streetscapes and other town-enhancing projects,” explains Dowling, “We are working closely with the town and county, expanding our borders to include the entire downtown, commercial corridor and arteries that make up the greater Sylva area.”
“The Main Street Sylva Association is the driving force for our town. Our mission is to promote Sylva’s economic and cultural growth and continued revitalization.”
"As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, the Main Street Sylva Association is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by Main Street America.