LaFayette Main Street’s sees success in sophomore year

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, February 6, 2024

In its second year in operation, LaFayette Main Street has seen over 20 new jobs and over $300,000 invested in the community, according to Executive Director DeAnna Hand. 

The director joined the LaFayette Rotary Club on Jan. 23 to discuss the highlights that the city has seen in recent months. She presented the LaFayette Main Street’s Annual Report and projects and awards for 2023. 

In the past year, the organization has documented 21 net new jobs created, four new or relocating businesses and 2,350 volunteer hours served. The organization has had $130,600 in public investment and $202,900 private investment.

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Earlier this year, Opportunity Alabama visited LaFayette and chose to launch their Community Growth Accelerator program in the city. The program looks for creative ways to improve the quality of the quality of the town’s economic vitality.

LaFayette was also chosen for the pilot program and grant from Main Street America’s Economic Entrepreneurial Ecosystem program. According to the Main Street website, the focus will be to develop the partnerships and opportunities available within the local economic ecosystem.

LaFayette Main Street received a $5,000 grant from the Coosa Valley RC&D Council to be used to fund a new entrance sign on Highway 50. 

Main Street LaFayette also received a $2,4000 grant in partnership with the Rotary Club. The goal of the grant is for the purchase and installation of city benches in downtown.

Earlier this year, Alabama Department of Tourism and Senator Randy Price awarded $3,900 to the Portraits of Honor ceremony. Portraits submitted of prominent leaders and those with lasting legacies in the LaFayette community were hung up for the community to enjoy.

Throughout the last year, LaFayette Main Street also hosted several events to stimulate economic and tourism development in the community. Such events include the Game Day Shop Local Campaign, Community Coffee Hours, Portraits of Honor Ceremony, Love LaFayette, Downtown Outdoor Movie Night, Cookie Crawl and several Food Truck Festivals.

The goal of these efforts was to increase revenue, decrease property vacancy, showcase the downtown, support businesses, build community engagement and make physical improvements.