BOYNE CITY — Boyne City on Friday was named one of three recipients of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award.

“Boyne City’s inspiring transformation serves as a model for downtowns looking to appeal to tourists while investing in the quality of life of year-round residents,” National Main Street Center President and CEO Patrice Frey said in a release.

“Boyne City Main Street has demonstrated the power of community engagement, strategic business development, and public and private partnerships to revitalize Main Street.”

The Boyne City Main Street program launched in 2003 as a catalyst for economic development. Boyne City's downtown has seen 91 net new businesses since then, according to the release, and the vacancy rate has dropped from 5 percent to 1 percent.

The local program supports a mix of year-round small businesses, regularly convenes business owners to find new ways to support them, and has championed data-based recruitment and retention efforts.

Boyne City Main Street so far has raised $16,412,766 in public reinvestment and $29,132,799 in private reinvestment, the release stated. In partnership with the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Boyne City, several multi-use workforce housing initiatives are underway downtown.

“Although the Great American Main Street Award says ‘Boyne City Main Street’ on the plaque, the award is really for every member of our community,” Kelsie King-Duff, executive director of Boyne City Main Street, said in the release.

A program of the National Main Street Center, Main Street America annually celebrates leading examples of comprehensive commercial district revitalization. Winners are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants by a national jury based on overall community transformation; strength of community engagement; entrepreneurship development; approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion; commitment to historic preservation; and implementation of model partnerships.

Boyne City Main Street was a semi-finalist for the award in both 2011 and 2019. More information is available at boynecitymainstreet.com.

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