From The Gazette
While some downtowns have been deserted by merchants and consumers in favor of malls and shopping centers, many in Maryland continue to see an influx of shoppers seeking an experience they can’t find at Target or TGI Friday’s.
The state has 23 municipalities — from Cumberland to Bel Air and from Frederick to Annapolis and Cambridge — designated as “Main Street Communities” by Main Street Maryland, which was created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
The designation is part of a national “Main Street” network dedicated to improving the economic health and desirability of downtowns, according to Carol Gilbert, assistant secretary for the division of neighborhood revitalization with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
In addition to creating volunteer committees to focus on several areas in a downtown, including design, organization, promotion, economic restructuring and making a downtown area “clean, safe and green,” Main Street Maryland communities also have been successful in receiving funding and grants, Gilbert said.