ELLSWORTH – Heart of Ellsworth has been designated as an Affiliate Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of Affiliate programs to recognize their commitment to create meaningful improvements to their downtowns using preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™. 

“We are thrilled to acknowledge this year’s 383 Affiliate Main Street America programs and their commitment to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president & CEO of Main Street America. “During another incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of their communities, driving essential local recovery efforts, supporting small businesses, and nurturing vibrant neighborhoods.”

In 2021, Main Street America programs generated $5.76 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,601 net new businesses, generated 30,402 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,595 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,427,729 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $19.34 of new investment back into Main Street communities.

Heart of Ellsworth is entering its second year as an Affiliate community. Affiliate performance is evaluated annually by the Maine Downtown Center, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that are committed to comprehensive, place-based revitalization efforts and achieving meaningful community outcomes. Maine currently has 14 affiliate communities and 10 Main Street Maine communities.

Heart of Ellsworth was established in 2016, earning its 501c3 nonprofit status in 2017 and achieved affiliate community status in 2020. Since its creation, the organization has secured over $200,000 in grant funding to support numerous projects in Ellsworth’s downtown. The Affiliate status has also allowed for other entities in the City to apply for grant funding, such as the Ellsworth Historical Society’s recent $200,000 award for restoration of the Old Jail property. Affiliate status also offers a financial advantage for the City of Ellsworth when it comes to submitting Community Development Block Grant applications. Affiliate status automatically gives the City an additional 2 points on its application score. When Heart of Ellsworth reaches Main Street Main status, the City will automatically receive an additional 4 points on its CBGD applications. 

According to H of E Board President Phyllis Young, “It has been rewarding to be a part of H of E’s exciting journey. The positive impact the organization has had on the growth and development of our downtown businesses and community in recent years is impressive. While many small cities in our country have struggled to fill their downtown storefronts and remain vibrant, Ellsworth has grown and flourished. ” 

The mission of Heart of Ellsworth is to promote economic, artistic, cultural, educational, historical and environmental activities in the “Downtown” area to provide a vibrant community for all residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government. heartofellsworth.org.

Main Street America leads a movement committed to strengthening communities through preservation-based economic development in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. For more than 40 years, Main Street America has provided a practical, adaptable, and impactful framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization through the Main Street Approach™. Our network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $95.33 billion in new public and private investment, generated 161,036 net new businesses and 717,723 net new jobs, and rehabilitated more than 314,431 buildings. Main Street America is a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit mainstreet.org.