The city of Sanford’s Public Works Department was one of 33 North Carolina Main Street Champions recognized Thursday morning in a virtual ceremony for their commitment to downtown revitalization and strong communities in 2021. Including this year’s group of honorees, 837 Main Street Champions have been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Commerce since 2000.

“There are three common elements that are found in successful communities. These elements are asset based economic development strategies, public and private partnerships, and local champions,” said Kenny Flowers, assistant secretary of rural economic development at the Department of Commerce.

“Main Street Champions are the key to success in downtown revitalization. They possess courage to move downtown forward; they fight for positive change and do that with creativity and innovation; and they actively get things done, while staying focused on the downtown’s economic development strategies,” said Liz Parham, director of the North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center at Commerce.

Downtown Sanford Inc. provided a video of the event’s portion in which Sanford’s public works department was honored: