Development Authority / Main Street

Tybee Classic Main Street logo


The Tybee Island Development Authority/Main Street Program is committed to helping our business community recover from impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read below to learn more about financial and regulatory assistance available to your business or contact us for more information.

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Business Recovery Grant

The Business Recovery Grant is an extension of the Main Street Facade Grant. We have temporarily expanded this grant to award up to $500 to physical, commercial businesses locations, to assist with repairs made to accommodate social distancing requirements. Eligible repairs include take-out windows, directional signage, contactless payment equipment, and sneeze guards. The grant can also be applied to rent, mortgage and utility bills incurred during March, April or May.

Sand Dollars Gift Certificates

Our new Sand Dollars program is an incentive program available to local businesses. Participating businesses will receive a supply of $5 gift certificates that they can offer to customers who spend at least $25. The customers can spend the $5 on a future sale at the business and Main Street will cover the cost of the discount on behalf of the participating business. The gift cards are a collaboration between Tybee Island Main Street and local realtor Lee Ann Marsh of Century 21 Solomon Properties.

Marketing Assistance

The Main Street program will assist businesses with promoting events with free advertising and digital content in our redesigned, updated weekly newsletter. We will also boost social media content for special events and activities involving local businesses.

Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit

Restaurants on Tybee Island may temporarily add outdoor seating on their property or the property of the City of Tybee on a case by case basis to help expand capacity and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Existing off-street parking requirements may be waived during this 30-day emergency time period. A site plan (can be handdrawn) and permission from the city is required. to start the permit process, contact George Shaw, (912) 472-5031.

Fee Deferrals and Waivers

The City of Tybee is extending deadlines and waiving late fees for utility bills, parking pass renewals and business license renewals until City Hall reopens.

Please contact us for more information.

Vision Statement 

The Vision of the Program is to improve the quality of life for those that live, work, and visit Tybee Island and enhance the cultural experience while preserving the community’s barrier island heritage.

This Vision is achievable through the Director’s commitment to the National Main Street Four-Point Approach® of historic preservation-based economic development that balances design, business assistance, promotion, and organization with established committees and partners that represent each point.

This effort takes support and assistance from all. Therefore, Committees and Partners help with the foundation of the proven Main Street Four-Point Approach tailored to meet local needs and opportunities in a balanced, self-sustaining manner.  Click here for Program details.

Board Overview

Tybee Island Mayor and City Council activated the Tybee Island Downtown Development Authority (DDA) by Resolution on August 14, 2014. The geographical boundaries of the Authority are within city limits, not just the downtown area. Therefore, the name of the Authority is referred to as the Tybee Island Development Authority / Main Street Program ("Program"). Directors of the Program also serve as the Tybee Island Main Street Board of Directors. The Program By-Laws can be read by clicking the link below.

The program is governed by seven (7) Directors appointed by City Council and four (4) Ex-Officio Members. Directors work with local and state partners to provide technical assistance and financial opportunities with incentives, as available, that encourage quality growth and development while preserving Tybee Island's unique architectural and community heritage.

The Tybee Island Development Authority / Main Street Board of Directors is comprised of seven (7) Council appointed Directors that are representatives which have an economic interest within city limits, one of which is a City Council member, in accordance with the approved Resolution (PDF) and By-Laws (PDF) for the Program. A maximum of four (4) Ex-Officio Members may be appointed to serve for a two-year term by a majority vote of the Directors. An Ex-Officio member shall represent the business community, non-profit organization, and / or be a full-time resident of Tybee Island.

  • Sarah Bernzott
    Affiliation: The Tybee Tourist
    Committee Liaison: Promotions
    Term Expires: 2021
  • Affiliation:  City Council
    Term Expires:  2024
  • Bill Garbett
    Affiliation: Community Representative
    Position: Ex-Officio
    Term Expires: 2020
  • Vicki Hammons
    Affiliation: Lighthouse Pizza
    Position: Vice Chair
    Committee Liaison: Design
    Term Expires: 2020
  • Susan Kelleher
    Affiliation: Seaside Sisters/Seaside Sweets
    Term Expires: 2024

  • Maria Lancaster
    Affiliation: Tybee Vacation Rentals
    Position: Ex-Officio
    Term Expires: 2022
  • Ted Lynch
    Affiliation: Accountants on Tybee
    Position: Chair
    Committee Liaison: Business Assistance
    Term Expires: 2020
  • Kelly Swope 
    Affiliation: Kelly & Company
    Term Expires: 2023
  • Cate Campbell
    Affiliation: Catie's Confections
    Position: Ex-Officio
    Term Expires: 2023

Agenda and Minutes

See all board related materials, including approved meeting minutes, on our WebLink archives.