Development Authority/Main Street Program


The Development Authority/Main Street Program is an inclusive program through the City of Tybee Island that
focuses on economic development within the context of historic preservation in a balanced fashion.

In 2010 the City was approved to be part of the National Main Street network due to two years of dedicated work by staff and partners assisting with the City's commitment to improve the sense of community, maintain a sustainable year-round economy, and preserve the architectural uniqueness of the barrier island.  The Department of Community Affairs' Office of Downtown Development oversees the State's Main Street program, which is one of the largest Main Street networks in the country.  

In 2014 City Officials activated the Tybee Island Downtown Development Authority (DDA) by Resolution and it was woven into the economic development fabric of Main Street with the Program's boundaries expanding to within city limits.  The Program serves as a "hub" for businesses and local organizations and for property owners and officials to utilize financial and technical resources that are available to Authorities.    
With assistance from a city staff person, seven (7) Directors appointed by City Council and four (4) Ex-Officio Directors whom represent the business community, non-profit organizations, and full-time residents govern the Program.  More information can be found here

Residents, merchants, and visitors have benefited and continue to so in a variety of ways since the inception of the Program. 
A brief list of accomplishments 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 24 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.
- Obtained over $25,000 in grant monies to update the Historic Resources Survey in two phases. There are a total of 845 structures identified with this survey, which is approximately 40% of structures on the island.
- 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.  As of FY 2017-18, the match has increased 80%!  This is the first increase in three years thanks to the city's commitment to preservation and enhancement efforts.   
- 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.  Developed partnership with Visit Tybee to provide staffing to maintain this service created to assist visitors (an estimate of 4,000+ ea. year). 
- Conceptualized, implemented, manage, and create materials for the Informational Kiosk at the Park of Seven Flags.
- Coordinate and host annual city-sponsored community events that highlight the arts, the businesses, and the community's well-being; process requests for organizations hosting events and/or companies doing productions; track and report the economic impact of events (2016 = $2,244,760.00) and productions (2016 = $7.8 mill) throughout the year.    

As an entity of the City, the Program's Staff 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 attend a retreat to review the previous year's accomplishments and plan for the next year based on the Master Plan and public feedback.  The original 2017 - 18 Work Plan can be viewed by clicking here and the revised version can be viewed here. Thank you to those that provide feedback throughout the year and help accomplish the identified goals.  
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.  
To stay up-to-date with preserving community, commerce & culture, sign up here to receive the Main Street Talk e-newsletter.  The latest edition highlighting preservation, business and community matters and upcoming special events can be found here
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