“It’s unlimited what can happen:” Parramore area earns Orlando “Main Street” designation

ORLANDO, Fla. — Parramore, the historic African-American neighborhood just west of Interstate 4, has been designated as Orlando’s newest Main Street, gaining access to additional financial support and other resources.

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Orlando implemented the Main Street program in 2008 as an initiative to revitalize the city’s neighborhood business districts.

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New business owner Dexter Sanders of Dexter’s Birdland says there’s a buzz in the Parramore air.

“It opens it up for new and awesome things,” Sanders said. “You can almost feel the energy down here.”

Initially, the Parramore District was included under the Downtown Orlando Main Street program. Now, City leaders have decided to make the historic black community its own entity, making it the city’s twelfth Main Street district.

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“This will give incentives to our small business owners when it comes to marketing, grant funding, and to help them develop and grow throughout their businesses and help their employees.” City Commissioner Regina Hill said.

The district Hill represents includes the Parramore area.

Dexter Sanders says he hopes the Main Street designation is just the beginning of what’s to come.

“By bringing and making this main street initiative come to fruition, it’s going to bring people…and people bring energy, and resources,” Sanders said. “It’s unlimited what can happen.”

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To qualify, business owners in the area have to express interest in joining. The area also has to meet basic criteria like having adequate walkability and a variety of accessible businesses.

For more information on Orlando’s Main Street program and the National Main Street project, click here.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.