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Photo by Sam Roberts

Historic downtown Hartselle needs community votes to vie for $25K

Special to the Enquirer

In September, Independent We Stand, a national small business movement, kicked off its sixth annual America’s Main Streets contest – and historic downtown Hartselle is among this year’s competitors.

The 2021 contest is titled Road to Recovery, and it is a three-month long web-driven competition to reward a deserving Main Street with $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes.

Whether the local Main Street is making a comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic or never lost its staying power, Independent We Stand invited the public to help draw attention to the vital role America’s Main Streets play in the long-term success of communities by nominating and voting for their favorite Main Street.

“Independent We Stand wants to help locally-owned businesses not just survive the pandemic but thrive in their communities,” said the movement’s co-founder, Bill Brunelle. “After the massive nationwide shutdowns due to COVID, we recognize the pride business owners take in their Main Streets, and we want to help share those stories through our contest.

“It’s more important now than ever to get behind these businesses with our support.”

Whinny Wisdom owner Melissa Bright is one of the Hartselle citizens behind the effort to revitalize the downtown area.

“For several years, Historic downtown Hartselle’s Main Street suffered with multiple empty buildings and disrepair. We formed a new Merchant Association and meet to plan events, support each other, assist with marketing/branding and really are each other’s cheerleaders,” Bright explained.

“Now we are working to be your destination to shop, dine, learn and grow. We know that we are better together,” she added. “Being just two miles west of I-65 at exit 326 in north Alabama, we would use this money for our organization to obtain wayfinding signage from the interstate all the way through Main Street, as we currently have none.”

Nominations and voting on www.mainstreetcontest.com began Sept. 13 and are ongoing.

Semifinalist voting will be Nov. 15 to Dec. 12, and the winner will be announced Dec. 20.

In additional to the cash, additional contest prizes include a STIHL Equipment Certificate for $1,000 worth of STIHL equipment, good at any STIHL dealer in the U.S.; a $500 shopping spree at Do it Best hardware store; Tmbr Flooring $500 shopping spree; Nationwide Marketing Group $500 shopping spree; public relations and social media recognition; and a special plaque for the winner to proudly display.

For more information on Historic downtown Hartselle’s Main Street, visit historicdowntownhartselle.com or contact info@historicdowntownhartselle.com.