BELEN — Belen MainStreet Partnership has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards.

Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are extremely proud to recognize this year’s 863 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of Main Street America. “During another incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of their communities. I am inspired by their steadfast leadership and innovative solutions to drive essential local recovery efforts, support small businesses, and nurture vibrant downtown districts.”

In 2021, Main Street America programs generated $5.76 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,601 net new businesses, generated 30,402 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,595 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,427,729 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $19.34 of new investment back into Main Street communities.

The Belen MainStreet Partnership’s performance is annually evaluated by New Mexico MainStreet, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet rigorous national performance standards.

Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, supporting small and locally owned businesses, and actively preserving historic places, spaces and cultural assets.

Belen MainStreet Partnership was established in 2009 as a startup program and became an accredited program in 2014. In that time, the nonprofit organization has brought more than $2 million in rehabilitations to downtown Belen, with the latest project completed in 2021, the Great Blocks on MainStreet phase 1 with reinvestment of more than $700,000.

“More exciting projects are in the works as we revitalize our downtown, one building at a time,” said Belen MainStreet Partnership Executive Director Rhona Espinoza. “Our board and volunteers are energized and visionary.”

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.