Visitor Guide

Georgia’s Rome named a GEMS city

Posted January 14, 2014 by Kristi Kent in Life in Rome

Have you ever seen those signs around downtown Rome that read “Historic Main Street of America”? Well, it looks like those signs are about to be updated.

Rome has been chosen along with five other cities to progress to the Georgia’s Exceptional Main Streets (GEMS) program, headed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA). That means that Rome, along with Bainbridge, Greensboro, Toccoa and Valdosta will be part of a pilot program for cities that have demonstrated that they are serious about downtown development.

Rome was first named a Georgia Main Street City by the Department of Community Affairs in 1981.

Rome was named a Georgia Main Street City by the Department of Community Affairs in 1981.

The Georgia Main Street (GMS) program started in 1980 and is meant to encourage economic development and historical preservation across the state. The program started with just five communities and has since grown to 96 total statewide.

The program is still growing. Since 1980, the GMS program has created an estimated 475,000 jobs across the state and the new program, the Georgia Exceptional Main Street program, should produce even more. The program intends to provide advanced technical support to Rome’s downtown development, which will lead to economic growth and more jobs.

“The selection of these cities for the GEMS program is a wonderful opportunity for them to build on their successes by taking a step to the next level of downtown development,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of GDCA, which houses the Main Street program.


So what does this mean for Rome’s downtown?

It means there will be an increasing climate for local businesses to grow and flourish.

It means that Broad Street will become the center of business in Rome, just as it was decades before.

It means that Rome cares about its downtown, and has demonstrated that it is indeed exceptional.


For more information about Downtown Rome, visit, or contact the Rome Downtown Development Authority at 706-236-4520.

About the Author

Our Georgia's Rome tourism team works hard to curate content to help you discover and explore our beautiful town! We want to ensure our content is up-to-date and accurate; so please let us know if we ever overlook an important detail! This post was originally written by Kristi Kent and is updated by staff.

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