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Spencer ranked number one in downtown facade improvements

SPENCER — Spencer’s progress in the Small Town Main Street program is better than most of the other North Carolina municipalities involved in the program.

Town Manager Larry Smith discussed the progress of the program at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Out of 50 main street communities in North Carolina, Spencer ranked the highest in downtown façade improvements. Spencer also ranked second highest in the number of building renovations, second highest in the amount of private downtown investment, third highest in total downtown investment and third highest in business expansion, according to a report released in September.

Smith said even though Spencer lost three business, it gained three new businesses, making the town’s net gain and loss zero. Spencer ranked eighth in the state in that area.

Spencer was accepted into the North Carolina Small Town Main Street program in 2012 in order to develop and enhance its downtown area.

“When we talk about how we’re doing, there’s really something to brag about, especially in the downtown,” Smith said. “We’re very much above most any other of the downtowns our size in a lot of the categories.”

Mayor Jody Everhart said Smith’s committee has been progressive in recruiting new businesses.

“Some of the new businesses that we’ve got, they’re excited,” he said.

Everhart also said the main street program helped the town focus on getting more niche businesses into the area.

“The main street really gave us some good ideas about what to look for,” he said.

Land Management Director Kathryn Clifton said permit inquiries into available buildings in the downtown area have also increased recently.

Everhart said he hopes the progress in the downtown area will continue.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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