News

EDGE District Receives Three State Awards
Date:  8/11/2016
ArticleType:  Member News

EDGE District Honored with Three Secretary of State Awards at Annual Main Street Conference

For the second year in a row, St. Petersburg's EDGE District was recognized for outstanding achievements by the Florida Secretary of State.

Each year at the Florida Main Street Annual Conference, the Secretary of State Awards honor Main Street programs who have excelled in carrying out their revitalization and preservation efforts in Florida communities. Florida Main Street is the statewide Main Street coordinating program under the Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State.

The EDGE District has been an accredited Florida Main Street since 2014 and is also an accredited National Main Street. Running from MLK to 16th Streets and 1st Avenue North to 1st Avenue South, the EDGE District lies between St. Petersburg's Central Arts District and Grand Central District along the Central Avenue corridor. Since 2014 the EDGE District Main Street (operating as the EDGE Business District Association) has been very active in its revitalization efforts, including spearheading the advocacy on district improvements such as parking and master plan development, providing its businesses with educational and promotional assistance, and stimulating local economy and raising public awareness with district-wide events. The EBDA also runs the EDGE District History Project, and recently completed a complete historic architectural survey of the District, to better capture and preserve the district's rich history.

This year's annual Secretary of State Awards ceremony was held in DeLand, FL, on August 9. The Honor Award is given in each category for top recognition, and the Merit Award is given for runner-up. The EDGE District received three awards:

* 2016 Honor Award for Out-standing Economic Restructuring Program of the Year - EDGE Business Mentoring Program.
Using a series of small group, owner-led business tours, the EDGE Business Mentoring Program was created to provide a meaningful and effective forum to share business strategies and create a stronger network for business collaborations. Particularly because the vast majority of EDGE businesses are small, locally-owned, and in a more vulnerable "fledgling" stage of 1-3 years old, the Business Mentoring Tours were created to help facilitate relationships between all EDGE businesses, from new to old, and strengthen the collective EDGE business community. Since its inception, the program has assisted more than three dozen businesses and resulted in a tighter-knit, collaborative community.

* 2016 Merit Award for Out-standing Main Street Business of the Year - Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center.
Creative Clay was recognized for its fundamental impact on the character and community of the EDGE District, and its ongoing contributions to the EDGE Main Street. As one of the oldest businesses in the district and one of the most active in community leadership, Creative Clay's mission to provide arts access to all and serve those with disabilities set the tone for the district long before other businesses moved in. Creative Clay, in fact, is largely credited with inspiring many of the other community-active and eclectic, locally-owned businesses to open in the EDGE. Creative Clay's annual Folkfest St. Pete event - now in its 10th year - also played an instrumental role in building the EDGE community, its identity, and its revitalization.

* 2016 Merit Award for Out-standing Local Main Street Program Supporter - Roger Curlin.
Roger, former EBDA Board Treasurer and Chair, Economic Vitality Committee, was recognized for his tireless efforts and extraordinary volunteer contributions to the EDGE District Main Street during his tenure from 2014-2016, including organizational development, parking advocacy, membership recruitment, board training, and event planning.

The EDGE Business District Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit his-toric preservation-based organization comprised of businesses, property owners, residents, and friends working to promote community interests by supporting and creating a sustainable local economy within the EDGE District of St. Petersburg, Florida. For more information on the EDGE District and its Main Street program, go to http://www.edgedistrict.org/.

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