— Governor Wes Moore today announced that Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County is the newest community to receive a Main Street Maryland designation. The designation will help strengthen the economic development potential in the town’s historic downtown districts and neighborhoods.
“Creating an innovative economy that is prepared to tackle the challenges of tomorrow means we need to ensure that all of our communities have the tools they need to be successful,” said Gov. Moore
. “We are excited to partner with Leonardtown to showcase its historic downtown, great local businesses, and its thriving arts scene. Communities like Leonardtown ensure Maryland's economy and culture continues to grow and thrive.”
Created in 1998 and managed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Main Street Maryland program builds partnerships with local governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses. Leonardtown is the first designated Main Street in St. Mary’s County. Leonardtown is home to southern Maryland’s only designated Arts & Entertainment district and touts itself as “A Small Southern Maryland Town that's Big on Charm.”
“As the former mayor of a designated Main Street Maryland community, I have seen firsthand the positive economic impact the program has and the partnerships and opportunities it created to spur additional redevelopment investment,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day.
“I am confident this Main Street designation will have the same effect on Leonardtown, improving the quality of life for residents while supporting locally owned businesses, events and activities that provide visitors with an authentic Maryland experience.”
With the addition of Leonardtown, the Main Street Maryland program includes 34 communities in 20 counties across Maryland. For a community to be eligible to receive a designation, it must be a certified Maryland Sustainable Community, have a historic business district, and meet several additional criteria established by the National Main Street Center.
“The Town of Leonardtown is extremely pleased to add ‘Main Street Maryland designee’ to our accomplishments in our effort to continue building the economic vitality of our downtown, increasing the quality of life for our residents and ensuring that visitors know that when they visit Leonardtown they are ensured a wonderful, authentic Maryland visit,” said Town Administrator Laschelle McKay.
“Strong partnerships, like this partnership with the State, are what makes Leonardtown a Most Exceptional Place!”
As the state coordinating program of the National Main Street Center, Main Street Maryland is part of a national network of state programs across the country and is authorized to bestow official, nationally recognized Main Street designations for communities in Maryland. To date, neighborhood revitalization and redevelopment activities in designated Main Street Maryland communities have supported approximately 3,800 new and expanding businesses; created more than 14,000 jobs; leveraged nearly $490 million in private investment for more than 5,600 projects, as well as $477 million in public investment for 1,750 projects; and leveraged almost 900,000 hours of volunteer work with a wage value of almost $27.5 million.
To highlight that long-term success, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and its Main Street Maryland partners launched a campaign
this summer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Main Street Maryland program.
The department encourages Marylanders to visit the state’s Main Street communities and enjoy their unique charm, local shops and events throughout the summer and use the hashtag to post about it on social media.
To learn more about Main Street Maryland and to see a full list of 2023 events, visit https://mainstreetmaryland.org/