Downtown Revitalization

Williamston serves as a thriving sub-regional market to the Eastern NC area. While outlying shopping areas contain many noted national retailers, the downtown area still offers the opportunity for locally owned businesses and small town charm. 
Here is a quick preview of some of the improvements made to the downtown area.

Downtown Williamston is a National Register Commercial Historic District which includes properties that may be eligible for rehabilitation tax credits. Find more information about state and federal advantages at the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Cultural Resources, Archives and History web site for tax credits.  
Based on downtown market analysis studies, the following types of businesses are likely to be successful in Williamston's Downtown area:

  • Antique shop
  • Restaurant
  • Micro-brewery
  • Specialty shops
  • Home design & decorating
  • Services
  • Equestrian goods
  • Offices
  • History/Equestrian Museum
  • Recreational equipment sales and rentals (bikes, kayaks, etc.)
  • General/convenience store
  • Bakery
  • Coffee shop/book store
  • Office supply store
  • Gift shop
  • Garden supply store
Williamston Downtown, Inc.
You may have noticed that downtown Williamston has seen many improvements during the past several years. Williamston Downtown, Inc. has been working with the North Carolina Main Street Program to create three active revitalization sub-committees: Economic restructuring, Design improvements, and Promotion. These sub-committees have focused on implementing strategies from recent downtown studies and the North Carolina Main Street Program. Revitalization efforts have been made possible with support from members of our community like yourself. If you are not a current member we would like to invite you to be a part of Williamston Downtown, Inc. By becoming a member you will join with other working and supportive business and property owners to strengthen and develop a vibrant and exciting downtown. 

Membership Types

Individual: $25 annual 
Monthly newsletter

Business: $50 annual
Above benefits plus - 
Facade grant eligibility
Marketing opportunities
Webpage listing (rent/sale)

Donor: $100 annual
Above benefits plus -
Martin County Arts Council membership

Sponsor: $250 annual
Above benefits plus -
Free admission to downtown sponsored events

To join Williamston Downtown, Inc. please complete our membership form and mail along with a check or money order to:

Williamston Downtown, Inc.
c/o Town of Williamston
P.O. Box 506
Williamston, NC 27892

North Carolina Main Street Program
NC Main Street logoThe Town of Williamston is a proud member of the NC Main Street program.

The NC Main Street program assists selected communities across the state in restoring economic vitality to their historic downtowns. Using a comprehensive downtown revitalization process developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation. 

Main Street staff provide technical assistance, guidance and training to participating communities. While grant funds for specific projects occasionally become available, Main Street is a self-help program, and it is up to local communities to provide the human and financial resources necessary to operate their downtown programs. 

Main Street Four-Point Approach
The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a comprehensive revitalization process designed to improve all aspects of a downtown, producing both intangible and tangible benefits.

Four elements are combined to create a well-balanced program:

  • Organization: Building Partnerships to create a consistent revitalization program and develop effective management and leadership downtown. Diverse groups - merchants, bankers, public officials, the chamber of commerce and civic groups - must work together to improve downtown.
  • Promotion: Reestablishing downtown as a compelling place for shoppers, investors and visitors. This means not only improving sales but also rekindling community excitement and involvement. Promotion ranges from street festivals to retail merchandising, from community education to marketing and public relations.
  • Design: Enhancing the visual quality of the downtown. Attention is given to the downtown environment elements - not just buildings and storefronts, but also public improvements, rear entries, signs, landscaping, window displays and graphic materials.
  • Economic Restructuring: Strengthening the existing economic assets of the business district while diversifying its economic base. Activities include conducting market analysis to understand the changing market place, adapting vacant buildings that have outlived their original purposes for use as entertainment or cultural facilities and sharpening the competitiveness of Main Street's traditional merchants. 
For more information about the North Carolina Main Street program, visit their website.