Development Authority/Main Street Program


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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.

The City of Tybee Island is an accredited National Main Street Community due to years of dedication by staff and partners working in collaboration with administration and elected officials 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 strengthened their commitment to economic development and ensuring the authenticity of Tybee's character (architecture and business mix) by activating the (downtown) development authority within city limits by Resolution.  This commitment provides even more resources the city can access to complete goals identified in the Master Plan and to benefit merchants and citizens.  The development authority is woven into the economic development fabric of the city's Main Street Program, to serve as a clearinghouse for businesses, local organizations and for property owners to utilize financial and technical resources that are available.    
 
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
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The city is proud to be a Georgia Exceptional Main Street Community!  For a snapshop of accomplishments that the city has had by being an accredited Main Street Community and following a balanced approach to economic development and preservation, read on...

- 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 logo with tagline.
- Manages the Locals Appreciation Card program for over 20 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 (seen above). 
- Obtained over $30k in grant monies to assist the City with the Keep Tybee Tidy anti-litter campaign and placing trash receptacles along heavily used sidewalks.
- Obtained over $25,000 in grant monies to update the Historic Resources Survey in two phases.  Click here for more information.
- Encouraging preservation activities and highlighting the importance and benefits of protecting the island’s unique architectural details and heritage. 
- Assists and manages Facade Improvement Grants for commercial buildings.  Four grants are available per year for up to a $5000 match.   
- Coordinate Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, and the like, for new entrepreneurs / businesses celebrating a milestone anniversary with City Officials and the public.
- Oversees the Tybee Island Information Providers Program at the Info Hut in Downtown Tybee and materials for posting.  Staffing between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends is provided by Visit Tybee (a division of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce) thru an annual agreement with the city.  An estimate of 5k visitors visit the Info Hut annually.    
- Manage and creates 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 (2017 = $1.7 million) and productions (2017 = $3 million) throughout the year.   
  
 
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.  
 
Keep up with the latest about community and business matters...

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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
+ You can like us on fblogo to get "hot off the presses" posts.    
The Program is part of the Community Development Department, which is at City Hall (403 Butler Avenue).
Phone number 912.472.5071
Email michelle.owens@cityoftybee.org