Columbiana receives Main Street Alabama recognition

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

DECATUR, Ala. – Columbiana was honored for its efforts as a Main Street Alabama community at an Awards of Excellence banquet this month.

Columbiana’s representatives were among nearly 150 community leaders from Alabama, along with attendees from Kentucky and Tennessee, who attended the sixth-annual event as part of the aLABama Downtown Laboratory three-day conference for current and potential Main Street program communities focused on downtown revitalization efforts.

Columbiana received the following awards:

  • Excellence in Business Development – Columbiana Mayor’s Breakfast, a quarterly meeting Mayor Stancil Handley and Marketing Director Elizabeth Smith host for local merchants, industry representatives, tourism officials, local and state representatives, first responders, dignitaries and other community members. The event features introductions of new businesses and serves to renew and maintain relationships with already established businesses and organizations. The Mayor’s Breakfast also provides a venue for unveiling new projects in the district and discussing the city’s designation as an “opportunity zone” for Shelby County, a key factor in Columbiana’s involvement in the Main Street Alabama program.
  • Hometown Hero – Kyle Mims, Edward Jones financial advisor who has spearheaded efforts to collaborate with Columbiana Main Street to hold an annual Touch-A-Truck event in the downtown area. Mims also speaks to local high school classes about budgeting and financial planning on a regular basis.

The banquet was held on the day Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed as Main Street Alabama Day, a day to recognize “the efforts of the organization that is focused on creating jobs and keeping character in communities across the state,” according to a press release.

“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” Main Street Alabama President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer said. “Today’s award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities.

“As our program grows, we continue to encourage our local communities to pursue and demand excellence for their districts and strive to create places that are authentic and welcoming to entrepreneurs,” she said. “Projects recognized with an Award of Excellence are truly charting new territory in downtown revitalization in Alabama. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements.”