Along with Champions from 33 other communities, Little received a certificate commemorating her designation, presented by N.C. Secretary of Commerce J. Keith Crisco, Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll, Assistant Secretary for Community Development Joseph D. Crocker, Division of Community Assistance Director Gloria Nance-Sims and Office of Urban Development Director Liz Parham.
Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. The dedication and hard work of countless volunteers is required to make a local Main Street program successful, and the Main Street Champion designation acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of those persons who have played pivotal roles in the revitalization of their downtowns.
“N.C. Main Street Champions are valued leaders, and we honor them for their commitment to downtown and to their community,” said Parham. “They are Main Street board members and volunteers, elected officials and city staff, downtown developers and small business owners. They are those individuals that give 110 percent to their community and then ask, ‘What’s next?’
“We celebrate their individual contributions: to assess the needs of their communities and to develop innovative solutions, to identify opportunities and to implement positive change, and to enhance community capacity through the creation of public and private partnerships," she continued. "Main Street Champions are downtown defenders, protectors and pioneers, and we thank them for their commitment to community."
In recommending Little for this honor, Uptown Wadesboro, Inc. offered the following:
"Current Uptown Wadesboro, Inc. chairperson Carly Little has been on the organization’s board of directors since 2006. As chair, she has introduced many valued projects, including the Summer Jam series, begun in the summer of 2008, and the Bluegrass Christmas Concert, which also started in 2008.
As a merchant herself, Carly has organized the uptown merchants group. In an effort to bring people to uptown, the group now puts on an annual Fall Festival and an Easter Egg Hunt celebration.
In the summer of 2009, Carly was successful in bringing a weekly farmers’ market to the Town Square, securing a commitment from the town to provide tables and finding farmers to participate.
Carly Little has lived in Anson County all her life and has used her contacts and persuasive powers to make events happen. She is the fourth generation of her family to own and operate the H.W. Little Hardware store, the type of old-fashioned hardware store that is fast disappearing across America. As a little girl, Carly and her dad would stop at the hardware store every morning on her way to school. Now she’s the one in charge of the store, family owned and operated since 1894.
Uptown Wadesboro Association is pleased to name Carly Little as our 2009 Main Street Champion."
Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street Program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance.
In 1980, North Carolina was one of six original states, selected from 38 that applied, to launch the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. The North Carolina Main Street Program began working with its five original cities – New Bern, Salisbury, Shelby, Tarboro, and Washington – in September 1980 and has since grown to include 61 communities across the state.