Apalachicola Main Street, Inc. was established in 2011 as part of the Florida Main Street and National Main Street networks. The following accomplishments highlight some of our activities during 2020:
We reviewed and updated our mission statement. Our mission statement now reads, “Apalachicola Main Street’s mission is to enhance the downtown district of Apalachicola with sound economic development that promotes a sustainable future while preserving the district’s historical significance and commitment to quality of life in our community.”
We committed to actively promoting the district’s diverse historical and cultural heritage as part of the implementation of our mission.
A vision statement was developed and adopted: “Apalachicola will continue to grow and sustainably develop economically and socially and with respect for its environmentally sensitive surroundings. The historical and cultural traditions of the community and its diverse populations will be celebrated and promoted through public education and awareness activities. Downtown Apalachicola’s status as the preeminent commercial, civic, and cultural center of the Forgotten Coast region will be advanced while maintaining its historic character, small-town aesthetic, and unique qualities. The vision and sustainable outcomes will be a result of the continued support from our volunteers, local businesses, partnering organizations and our sponsors, who all share a belief that a strong downtown is an essential component to the integrity of a community.”
We completed a comprehensive strategic plan with input from the public and technical assistance from the Florida Main Street program.
We began work on an exhibit exploring the life of Moses Roper, who was once enslaved on an Apalachicola steamboat but escaped and authored one of the best-selling fugitive slave narratives in history. This work is supported by grant funding from Florida Humanities, the Duke Energy Foundation, Weems Memorial Hospital, and sponsors. The exhibit will be displayed at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art.
The Design Committee held a series of clean-up events that included the Mill Pond, Franklin Square, and the downtown commercial district. Palm tree trimming and debris removal were also completed. Beautification projects were also completed on Avenue D and at the Raney House museum. The annual holiday lights were installed in downtown palms.
We completed two historical plaques, part of our ongoing historical plaque program. A dedication event was held to celebrate the installation of the plaque at the Chapman Botanical Garden, and a second plaque was completed for the Sponge Exchange Building (to be installed in January 2021).
New fundraising initiatives were developed, including a successful online auction and online raffle and an online Friends of Apalachicola Main Street fundraising campaign.
We were the recipients of grant funds from the Knight Foundation, the Franklin County CARES program, Duke Energy, and Florida Humanities.
In response to Covid-19, we implemented several new initiatives: an e-gift certificate program called ShopApalachicola.com, free mask distribution to businesses and downtown employees, a web page to provide information to business owners, and e-newsletter updates to businesses.
We were the recipients of two Florida Main Street awards: “Outstanding Image Campaign” for our There’s Still a Place video and “Outstanding Economic Vitality Initiative” for the ShopApalachicola.com program.
The Promotions Committee performed ongoing website and social media updates to keep the public informed about downtown Apalachicola businesses, events, and historical topics. This effort was ramped up to provide increased exposure to downtown businesses due to Covid-19. We also promoted information on business assistance programs such as the Payroll Protection Program and CARES grant funds.
We initiated partnerships with other entities in the community including H’COLA and the Orman House State Park.
Comprehensive financial policies and procedures were adopted by the board.