In September, Independent We Stand, a national small business  movement, kicked-off its sixth annual America’s Main Streets contest titled this year, “Road to  Recovery,” a three-month long web-driven contest to help consumers, small business owners  and Main Street organizations reward a deserving Main Street with $25,000 in cash and  sponsor-related prizes. Whether the local Main Street is making a comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic or never lost its staying power, Independent We Stand invited the public to help  draw attention to the vital role America’s Main Streets play in the long-term success of  communities by nominating and voting for their favorite Main Street. Historic East Main Street in Downtown Albertville, being represented by the Commercial Development Authority of  Albertville (CDA) is among this year’s nominees! 

“Independent We Stand wants to help locally owned businesses not just survive the pandemic,  but thrive in their communities,” says Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle. “After the  massive nationwide shutdowns due to COVID, we recognize the pride business owners take in  their Main Streets, and we want to help share those stories through our contest. It’s more  

important now than ever, to get behind these businesses with our support.” 

Proudly known as the Heart of Sand Mountain— Albertville, in Marshall County, Ala., is situated  an hour north of Birmingham, an hour south of Huntsville, 7 miles from the sprawling, pristine  Lake Guntersville, and is home to an up and coming, “new” Main Street vibe, which simultaneously draws from the nostalgia of yesteryear with the iconic, restored buildings of their downtown’s past once again coming to life! Now adorned with unique, locally owned boutiques,  wine and cigar stores, quaint coffee houses, bakeries, a speakeasy, a soon to open brewery,  floral shoppes, an “uptown” family pharmacy, a book store and a number of culturally diverse  restaurants— from Italian, to Mexican street food, and southern BBQ, downtown Albertville is as  tasty as it is charming. Newly home to the beautiful Albertville Museum, as well as the  reimagined “75 & Main” building, which houses additional mercantiles with loft apartments  nestled above them, and under the glimmer of over the street, hanging lights— Downtown  Albertville is literally glowing. 

“In partnership with the CDA—the City, the former Albertville Downtown Development  Committee, and tremendous local business owners and investors who believe in this community and the importance of our downtown’s viability, have worked relentlessly to restore the  downtown area as the focal point of the community that it once was,” said Hon. Tracy Honea,  Mayor of the City of Albertville. “We are extremely excited to see Historic East Main Street and  Downtown Albertville recognized among America’s best hometown Main Streets and look  forward to fully supporting the CDA in their efforts to victory!” 

City of Albertville revitalization efforts completed in recent years, to name a few, include a  streetscape project adding new sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, decorative lamp posts, and new  intersection signalization and landscaping. In the works is a wayfinding project to connect  downtown with city parks and other main thoroughfares, and additional, continued planning  projects. Most recently, city officials, alongside the CDA, have worked in conjunction with their  state legislators to draft legislation they are hopeful will be passed this year, which would  formally deem Downtown Albertville as the town’s first Arts & Entertainment District.  

The CDA also has an established grant program available to local merchants and business  owners that provides monetary assistance to improve the façade of their storefronts and  interiors. If chosen as a winner of America’s Main Streets contest, the group says it would  reinvest the award money into the further progression of a growing downtown that they hope will keep inspiring local entrepreneurs to want to locate quality “Main Street” businesses and  attractions in and around, and will give its citizens and visitors alike a vibrant downtown  experience not always found in “small town” USA.  

All nominations and voting take place on MainStreetContest.com beginning at 10 a.m. EST on  Sept. 13, 2021. 

Important dates: 

∙ Sept. 13 to Nov. 7: Nominations and quarterfinalist voting 

∙ Nov. 15 to Dec. 12: Semifinalist voting 

∙ Dec. 20: America’s Main Streets “Road to Recovery” winner announced ∙ Feb. 14: “Show Your Main Streets Some Love” event; America’s Main Streets “Road to  Recovery” winner announces plans for $25,000 grand prize 

Additional contest prizes include: 

∙ STIHL Equipment Certificate for $1,000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL  Dealer in the U.S. 

∙ Do it Best Corp. $500 shopping spree 

∙ Tmbr Flooring $500 shopping spree 

∙ Nationwide Marketing Group $500 shopping spree 

∙ Public relations and social media recognition 

∙ A special plaque for the winner to proudly display 

Presenting Contest Sponsor:

STIHL Inc., America’s number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power  equipment*, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and the presenting sponsor of  America’s Main Streets contest. The company follows a unique distribution strategy in handheld  outdoor power equipment industry, choosing never to sell products at big box stores, but instead  remaining loyal to its 9,000+ authorized local STIHL Dealers nationwide. 

Supporting Contest Sponsors:  

∙ Do it Best Corp. 

∙ Nationwide Marketing Group 

∙ North American Hardware and Paint Association 

∙ Tmbr Flooring 

About the Commercial Development Authority of Albertville 

The mission of the CDA is to promote retention and growth of existing businesses and seek out  commercial development opportunities to further the City’s economic stability.  

About Independent We Stand 

Independent We Stand is a nationwide movement of independent small business owners whose  mission is to inspire other small business owners to better understand and celebrate their locally  owned status while educating consumers about the importance and strong economic benefits of  supporting them. The Independent We Stand movement is sponsored by STIHL Inc. STIHL  

products are sold through more than 10,000 authorized local STIHL Dealers from coast to coast  – not big box stores. Associate sponsors include North American Hardware and Paint  Association, Nationwide Marketing Group, Do it Best Corp. and Tmbr Flooring.  

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