Carlisle, PA - The Downtown Carlisle Association/ has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four Point Approach® methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.

"We congratulate the Downtown Carlisle Association as one of this year's nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards," says Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. "Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the downtown in the economy head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable."

The organization's performance is annually evaluated by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program's application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.

The DCA has shown solid re-investment dollars at the end of 2012, going directly back into the Carlisle community through façade improvements, sign grants, project sponsorships, streetscape lighting, beautification projects, and monies to re-habilitate Borough owned playgrounds. This figure does not include the income to local businesses through the annual events that the DCA produces which bring tens of thousands of visitors into downtown and the synergy developed that leads to millions of dollars in economic development projects.

The DCA has also exposed over 4.5 million people to the LoveCarlisle brand through a mass media campaign on a shoestring budget that results directly to more people being aware of and visiting downtown Carlisle for events, shopping and dining than ever before.

Ed Bidelspach, President of the Downtown Carlisle Association Board of Directors stated, "This is something our Board and volunteers have been working on for quite some time. This is not an easy achievement, but one that takes dedication from the community, staff and area leaders to truly make a difference in downtown revitalization efforts."

"This is not a recognized effort by the current Board of Directors, the current staff, or current group of volunteers, but a cumulative effort of everyone who has ever helped in a project, sat on a committee, served as a volunteer at an event, and worked to make Carlisle better. To become accredited on a national level for the organization and programming is something in which Carlisle should take great pride." stated Glenn White, Executive Director of the Downtown Carlisle Association.

"As a significant partner of the Downtown Carlisle Association, The Borough of Carlisle is pleased and proud of all the work being done by DCA to enhance the vitality of our downtown. National Main Street Accreditation is fitting recognition of the accomplishments, organization, leadership, and management of a true downtown improvement catalyst. The staff and volunteers are to be commended heartily for this achievement," said Borough Council President Perry Heath.

Matt Candland, Carlisle Borough Manager stated, "While I am delighted with the recent announcement that the Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA) has been recognized as an accredited 2013 National Main Street, I am not surprised. For over thirty years the DCA has been one of the primary driving forces in the revitalization of downtown Carlisle. More recently, Glenn White, the DCA Executive Director, the Board of Directors and the many DCA volunteers have done a remarkable job in making downtown Carlisle one of the premier downtowns in Pennsylvania. This recognition is well deserved."

"As the coordinating organization for the Main Street program in Pennsylvania, PDC is extremely proud of the Main Street communities that have received this recognition from the National Main Street Center this year," said PDC executive director, Bill Fontana. "While each and every one of Pennsylvania's Main Street programs contributes to making their communities great, the accredited communities deserve special recognition. Accreditation is an acknowledgment of the fact that an organization is following and implementing a program that is likely to result in a successful revitalization effort."

Future events for this award will include a sign unveiling and other public ceremonies of recognition, all to be advertised by press release.

The Downtown Carlisle Association will now be applying for Commonwealth Keystone Community Main Street designation which will allow preferred status with the state for grant and loan programs to benefit the revitalization efforts of Carlisle. As steering committee of local, county and state leaders is being developed to fully understand the program and assist in the application for the designation. Using the community goals of the downtown visioning session, a 5 year plan will be developed to implement the community goals.

The Downtown Carlisle Association is a volunteer community main street development organization that markets and promotes the assets of Downtown Carlisle for the benefit of shopping, tourism, business recruitment, and economic development. Housed within the DCA is the Retail Recruitment Program and the Elm Street program which is programmed through the Carlisle Neighborhood Alliance. Through various tourism events, beautification initiatives, retail recruitment and downtown residential revitalization, we make Carlisle a great place to live, work, shop & play!

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 32 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $55.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 473,535 net new jobs and 109,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 236,418 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.