The City of Concord and the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) have formalized a new quasi-public partnership to enhance downtown revitalization efforts and support to small business owners. Under the agreement, which took effect on January 25, 2021, the CDDC will now operate within the City of Concord Planning and Neighborhood Development Department.
“The merger between the City of Concord and the CDDC comes at a great time for Downtown with the current private and public investment that is under way or starting soon,” said Steve Osborne, Planning and Neighborhood Development Director. “Being able to work as one team will only enhance project coordination and build on this momentum, creating new opportunities and growth for business owners and the community.”
The merger between the City of Concord and CDDC was mutually agreed upon by the City Council and Board of Directors of CDDC. Employees of the CDDC have applied for and received equivalent roles within the City of Concord, while the Board of Directors will oversee fundraising and sponsorship for events.
“Only a handful of downtowns in the state operate as separate non-profits; most Main Street communities have moved towards becoming a City Department or the quasi-public model that we have recently adopted,” said Johnson Bray, Downtown Development Manager. “This model allows us to utilize the tools associated with public and private management of the Main Street Program to have the most positive impact for Downtown.”
The CDDC, a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, has managed the Downtown Concord Municipal Service District (MSD) for 30 years following the Main Street Approach™ set out by the National Main Street Program and NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center. Since 1990, Downtown Concord has seen over $220 million in public and private investment and the creation of 984 full-time jobs.
The benefits provided through the Main Street Program are funded in part by a nominal tax the City of Concord levies on businesses operating within the Municipal Service District. This tax, previously dispersed to the CDDC, will now funnel through the City. These funds will continue to be utilized within the district as mandated by the State of North Carolina. Under the quasi-public partnership, the City will also have the ability to assist the Downtown District as needed while the CDDC will retain its non-profit status. CDDC will continue to host events, apply for grants, and advertise for the businesses that are located within the MSD.