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Downtown Florence Wins Two Main Street South Carolina Inspiration Awards in 2021

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For Immediate Release –July 12, 2021

Media Contacts:
Hannah Davis, Development Manager, hdavis@cityofflorence.com or 843-678-5912
Clint Moore, Assistant City Manager of Development,
cmoore@cityofflorence.com or 843-665-204

FLORENCE, SC – The City of Florence and Florence Downtown Development Corp. (FDDC) have won two 2021 Inspiration Awards from Main Street South Carolina, which recognize members’ achievements and success in downtown revitalization work.

FDDC was presented the 2021 Main Street Inspiration Award for Outstanding 2020 Promotion for its work on the Downtown Holiday Gift Guide, a digital shopping catalog that connected shoppers with holiday gift ideas from locally owned downtown business owners. The guide, which reached thousands of shoppers during the holiday season, will return in 2021.

The City of Florence and FDDC were also presented the 2021 Main Street Inspiration Award for Outstanding Business Development Program for their COVID-19 response. The Downtown
Development Office quickly shifted to emergency response function during the pandemic assembling resources, identifying relief funding for small businesses, providing extensive technical services, and ecommerce training. As a result, Downtown Florence’s businesses not only survived COVID-19, but the district added six new businesses as well. The City of Florence and FDDC partnered to provide qualifying micro-businesses in the district with re-opening grants to assist them with marketing and promotions once the statewide shutdowns were lifted.


“We are honored to be selected for these two awards. Our team works hard to create a downtown that is not only successful, but resilient. We will continue to produce programs and events that make Downtown Florence a premiere model for historic district revitalization,” stated Development Manager, Hannah Davis.
The awards were presented at the July 12, 2021 City Council Meeting by Jenny Boulware, Main Street South Carolina Program Manager.


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About Main Street South Carolina
Since 1983 Main Street South Carolina has been helping revitalize South Carolina’s historic downtowns. Its local Main Street network of more than 25 communities share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through asset-based economic development. Main Street SC is a technical assistance program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Since 1980, communities participating in the program – nationwide – have leveraged more than $85 billion in new public and private investment, generated more than 672,000 new jobs and 150,000 new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,000 buildings.

July 12 2021 Press Release PDF

City of Florence Receives Campaign Excellence Award

Award ImageThe City of Florence was recently recognized by the United Way of Florence County for its campaign contribution that reached the Silver Level of giving for the 2021 fiscal year.

Each year, United Way of Florence County recognizes its top donors at their Award Luncheon. This year, they decided to combine the Award Luncheon with the Allocation Luncheon so their donors could meet partner agencies and directly see who their donations are impacting.

City of Florence Employees donated a total of $37,571.72 this year, which was a $6,966.83 increase from the previous year. The City of Florence is proud of its employees and their continued commitment to give back to the Florence community.

80 S.C. Fire Departments Receive “Fire Safe South Carolina” Community Designation

Fire Safe South Carolina (FSSC) and its partners congratulate 80 local fire departments in 33 counties across the state who have actively worked to develop community risk reduction (CRR) plans for their jurisdictions in 2020.

These designated communities continually work to reduce fire-related injuries in our state, thereby decreasing the risks for residents and firefighters. They also promote consistent fire safety messaging and stress the importance of providing all relative data collected at fire scenes.

“The enthusiasm for obtaining this designation continues to grow, and we remain encouraged by active participation,” Community Risk Reduction Chief Josh Fulbright said. “We congratulate the 80 designees and, even with the pandemic, are excited to see a 40 percent increase from last year. We look forward to recognizing them during the June Fire-Rescue Conference in Columbia - along with those from 2019 who could not be fully recognized last year.”

Despite challenges associated with the pandemic, it is clear these fire departments continue to provide fire and life safety information to their local citizens. 

Specifically, FSSC-designated communities took creative as well as virtual approaches to community risk reduction and documented outreach educational opportunities for nearly 55,000 citizens. Additionally, more than 1,300 fire service members were trained through the Community Risk Reduction curriculum, and more than 80 fire departments were represented during the annual Life Safety Education Conference.

Fulbright acknowledges the program is effective because of its dedicated community partners.

 “With fire departments receiving more than 9,000 smoke alarms donated from their growing list of community partners, these relationships are an important part of this life-saving program.”

Launched in 2017, Fire Safe SC’s partners include the S.C. State Firefighters’ Association, the S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the S.C. Fire Marshal Association. Together, they announce the following fire departments have obtained the Fire Safe SC Community designation.

Visit: http://firesafe.sc.gov/docs/FIRESAFE%20CONGRATS%202020.pdf

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation

Main Street America Logo

For Immediate Release                                

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation

Florence, SC (February 25, 2021) – Downtown Florence has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

Downtown Florence’s performance is evaluated by Main Street South Carolina which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify local programs that meet national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“Downtown Florence has successfully demonstrated their thoughtful, intentional approach to strengthening their community. As an accredited Main Street America program Downtown Florence is being recognized for generating strong economic returns, preserving community character and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful, impactful movement of asset-based, placemaking economic development,” said Jenny Boulware, Main Street South Carolina Manager.

Over the past decade, Downtown Florence has seen tremendous growth—nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of private and public investment. It has also proven that application of the National Main Street Approach™ is an effective way to drive responsible and sustainable economic development initiatives in historic communities. Since many of the initiatives began in 2010, every $1 of City investment has yielded a cumulative $7 return in private investment. In 2020 alone, every $1 of City investment yielded $28 in private investment.

“We could not have accomplished this goal without the help our team, partners, investors, business owners, community leaders, citizens, volunteers, and comprehensive planning process. The Main Street Approach™ is a powerful holistic tool for transforming places, and this accomplishment isn’t just for Downtown Florence—it’s for the whole City. The ripple effect generated from targeted investment in the downtown redevelopment district is felt community-wide, through industry moving in and creating jobs, expansion of our medical and education facilities, quality of life for our residents, and generation of tourism revenue from visitors. We look forward to continuing our momentum, expanding our footprint, and playing a part in moving Florence forward,” says Hannah Davis, City of Florence Development Manager.

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About Main Street South Carolina

Since 1983 Main Street South Carolina has been helping revitalize South Carolina’s historic downtowns. Its local Main Street network of more than 25 communities share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through asset-based economic development. Main Street SC is a technical assistance program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Since 1980, communities participating in the program – nationwide – have leveraged more than $85 billion in new public and private investment, generated more than 672,000 new jobs and 150,000 new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,000 buildings.

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. It’s unique approach includes four points, Economic Vitality, Organization, Design, and Promotion driven by Transformation Strategies to renew economic vitality, celebrate a community’s historic character, and bring communities together. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Contact:      Hannah L. Davis, Development Manager

                          hdavis@cityofflorence.com

Downtown Florence Receives National Main Street Accreditation Press Release PDF

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City of Florence Recognized by EPA for Excellence in Innovative Financing:

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On December 14th, 2020 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 5 projects out of 25 nominations throughout the nation for exceptional focus on sustainability and protection of public health within the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. The City of Florence was recognized by the 2020 AQUARIUS program, for Excellence in Innovative Financing for its work on the Timmonsville Drinking Water System Improvements and Consolidation.

Eligible projects could be any size and must have an executed assistance agreement. Projects could be operational or in the planning phase. After all project nominations were reviewed and accepted for this year’s recognition, at least one project in each of the five categories: Excellence in Innovative Financing; Excellence in System Partnership; Excellence in Community Engagement; Excellence in Environmental and Public Health; and Excellence in Problem Solving were selected to receive the Exceptional Project recognition based on meeting the evaluation criteria. The remaining nominated AQUARIUS projects were selected to receive Honorable Mention recognition.

 

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