Manteo selected for state’s Downtown Associate Community program

Thousands fill the streets of downtown Manteo on the first Saturday in June each year for Dare Day. [DareDay.org photo]

The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced Friday that the Town of Manteo is one of six communities selected for the Downtown Associate Community program, which is run by the state’s Main Street and Rural Planning Center.

“This program will help Graham, Manteo, Mebane, Murphy, Pilot Mountain and Zebulon attract new investment, grow their business community, and create more jobs,” said state Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland.

The DAC program brings together residents, businesses, non-profits, and local government to promote community and economic development while maintaining historic preservation and heritage, according to a town news release.

The state will provide training, technical assistance and instruction, and the town is already working with staff and stakeholders to prepare for this exciting journey.

The DAC program takes three years to complete, and it provides a pathway to the nationally recognized Main Street America program.

This preservation-based approach to economic development is supported by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Manteo is playing in the big leagues now, and this program will put us on the map statewide,” said Mayor Bobby Owens.

Town Manager James Ayers noted that the activities undertaken in the DAC program could help all businesses throughout town.

“(The) Downtown Associate Community program balances economic development with historic preservation, which aligns perfectly with the ‘Preserve and Prosper’ motto of the Town of Manteo,” Ayers said.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.