Jeannette Rushbrook of Been Framed, a local business specializing in frames, posters, and prints, was nominated as Elkin’s downtown champion for 2012.
She was presented with the award at a statewide 2012 Main Street Awards Ceremony in Salisbury on January 30.
Rushbrook, as VP of the Downtown Merchants Association, helped spearhead the Under the Stars on Main event for two consecutive years.
She also helped support local artisans by displaying and selling their work in her shop. She was nominated for the award by Theresa Knops, the former Main Street and community manager for the Town of Elkin.
“Jeannette is always willing to volunteer and assists with many other downtown events throughout the year,” said Laura Gaylord, who replaced Knops in the town position.
Main Street Champions are designated by their local N.C. Main Street programs for the contributions they have made to the downtown revitalization process in their communities. Thirty-one individuals were honored for their contributions in 2012.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce organized the event and presented 18 awards to participants in the N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs.
“I am extremely honored to have been in the company of so many committed honorees at the ceremony,” Rushbrook said. “If we want to know how Main Street can do it right, all we have to do is look at other communities that have success at it.”
One component to Rushbrook’s strategy is to shift downtown logic and prepare Elkin businesses for its potential.
“If downtown Elkin is open for business, our doors must remain open during hours that are convenient for customers,” expressed Rushbrook. “No reason for doors to shut at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. If we want people to experience Elkin as a destination choice and to talk about us, we have to be more accommodating and adjust to their lives. People have a choice, and when we close our doors early other Main Street towns stay open and reap the benefits generated from tourism.
“For starters, my business doesn’t benefit from tourism so much,” she said. “However, even I will keep my doors open longer on weekends.”
Award winners were recognized for excellence in downtown revitalization efforts in categories that include promotion, organization, design and economic restructuring. In 2011, Elkin won the “Best Downtown Branding and Image-Building Campaign” award.
Liz Parham, director of the Office of Urban Development at the NC Department of Commerce said,“Main Street Champions are those individuals that lead by example. Whether they renovate a building, open a business, volunteer their services, or rally the troops, they step out in front and encourage others to follow. They are recognized for their dedication to their community that furthers the efforts of downtown revitalization.”
“Main Streets are making a positive impact in their communities all across the state,” said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “Downtown revitalization efforts are contributing to the state’s overall economic recovery and we applaud these community leaders for their hard work.”
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or via email at email@example.com.