Main Street Development Director Christina Caudle reported over the last year there were 31 facade improvements, six building rehabs and two public improvement projects.
The total for the program to date is 121 facade improvements, 57 building rehabs and 16 public improvement projects.
There was a net of 52 jobs created. Over the course of the program there have been 493 jobs created and 132 lost for a net of 361 new jobs.
Caudle reported 20 new business openings, four closings and one expansion. She noted more than 50 percent of the new business openings represent the service industry and the four which have closed are retail.
Over the life of the program there have been 137 business opened, 39 closed and four expansions.
Volunteer hours over the last year are at 1,350 and represent a savings of $29,538. In the program to date there have been a total of 11,458 volunteer hours and $250,701 in in-kind volunteering.
There were seven events this year bringing in 2,500 people who spent $16,000. Over the course of the program there have been 19,300 visitors who have spent $112,000.
Private investment reached $4,051,130, a 124 percent increase over the last year. Some of that included the Food Lion and Burger King rehab, Caudle said, noting the bulk of that was small business investment.
Public investment was up 112 percent. At $461,247, that number includes the work on the public green space at 1026 Roanoke Avenue.
Total investment on the avenue is expected to hit $10 million next year. There has been a $1,330,370 public investment made over the course of the program and $7,648,108 in private investment. Total investment over the course of the program is at $8,978,478.
A total of $48 million in private investment is expected through 2019, including Project Chips at Kapstone, the new credit union on Tenth Street and Mill City Market opening in the Countryside Interiors building.
Roanoke Rapids has been in the program since 2009, Caudle said. “People see the value of downtown revitalization. People are looking for quality of life. People know one of our largest assets is our rich history.”
Lisa Smith of the Quality Shop received the Beautification Award. “They really take care of their property,” Caudle said.
U OK Coffee & Baked Goods was named New Business of the Year.
Owned by LaurieAnn and Dennis Howard, the shop grinds its own coffee and sells baked goods including muffins and brownies. “It’s gaining momentum,” Caudle said.
Business of the year went to the Roanoke Rapids Herald, which has been a long time fixture on the avenue, beginning in the 200 block and now in the 900 block. “It’s a tremendous asset. It’s of tremendous local value to the community,” Caudle said.
Herald Publisher Titus Workman accepted the award and was also recognized for his service to the Main Street Board through the presentation of the President’s Award.
Volunteer of the Year went to Carol Moseley, who was not present.
A Special Appreciation Award was given to state Representative Michael Wray, who secured funding of nearly $95,000 for Main Street Roanoke Rapids.
The funding has allowed a streetscape planning document process; a facade grant program and a local rent subsidy incentive.
“Michael Wray stepped up and supported us,” Caudle said.
“I’m highly honored,” Wray said.