Downtown Camas Association receives national accreditation

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The Downtown Camas Association (DCA) has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America(TM) program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach(TM).

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, rresident and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

According to a press release issued by the DCA, Main Street America communities generated $6.45 billion worth of public and private reinvestment, opened 6,466 new businesses, rehabilitated 10,412 buildings and created 32,316 new jobs in 2019.

The Washington State Main Street Program worked in partnership with Main Street America to evaluate the DCA and make sure the Camas association met 10 performance standards, including fostering strong public-private partnerships and actively preserving historic buildings.

According to the DCA’s press release, downtown Camas has seen more commercial development over the past three years than it had at any point in the past 30 years prior.

“The DCA welcomed 13 new businesses or expansions in 2019, with current vacancy rate at 1 percent, compared to 60-percent vacancy rate before revitalization efforts,” noted the press release. “DCA volunteers contributed 3,210 volunteer hours in 2019, and along with staff provided the equivalent of four full-time professionals worth of effort to the Downtown Camas District.”

The DCA hosted 20 community events in 2019 and said it brought more than 40,000 people to Camas’ historic downtown area, “which led to increased economic stability for businesses and increased meaningful connection for the community.”

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the DCA has continually provided timely and relevant education and resources for merchants to be able to navigate the crisis and strong promotion of the ways to support downtown small businesses during these times,” the press release stated.

“We’re very proud of the work that this organization accomplishes for Downtown Camas and the entire community through its capable staff and volunteers,” said Caroline Mercury, DCA board president. “The strong results speak for themselves through much higher-than-average capital investment, small business success rate and job creation. In addition, community engagement with events and consistent patronage of our local businesses is fostered by the solid programming of the DCA. We are grateful to be recognized by Main Street America and proud to be a part of the Washington State Main Street Program, one of the highest performing programs overall in the nation.”