Stakeholder Perceptions for Supporting Main Street Revitalization In a Small South Georgia City

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Rural and Community Development




Local stakeholders offer significant insight and perspectives throughout the implementation of revitalization projects that would be difficult to otherwise garner by individuals not native to the specific town. The purpose of this study was to examine what conditions exist for local stakeholders to support or oppose revitalization in a rural, southern Georgia town and if able to support, what were their priorities. In-depth individual interviews with 32 business owners and other stakeholders were done. Questions were based on the guidelines and stakeholder survey developed by Schmeer (2001). Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for themes within each question. Themes were identified and communicated to city officials to provide guidance to stakeholders of perceived priorities. An overwhelming majority of the participants interviewed (87.5 %) strongly supported revitalization. Renovation had the highest priority, followed by demolition, and creation of green space. Conditions that might lead to support existed including leadership and actions by others, a clear plan, and no negative impact to business. Conditions that might lead to opposition included conflict with culture or beliefs, and a lack of planning or transparency. Understanding the perceptions of local business owners is essential to understanding how to maintain stakeholder support, mitigate disruptions caused by revitalization, and avoiding stakeholder alienation.


Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.