I love where I live!
My little corner of Orlando (East Orlando) is “Avalon Park“. A quaint, neighborhood bustling with restaurants, shops and tons of small businesses. As a 15+ year resident of Orlando, I was shocked to learn about the Orlando Main Street Districts. I knew about a few “cool areas” but I had no idea that there was a plan in place to recognize the important role neighborhood commercial districts play in the overall health of Orlando’s neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were created and renamed as “Orlando Main Streets” in 2008 by Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council. The Orlando Main Streets receive financial support, technical assistance and intensive training from the City of Orlando to help them thrive.
If you love to shop local and support small businesses, these areas of town are a great way to do just that! While there are lots of other cool areas too (um,hello Avalon Park!) these 12 districts have been undergoing revitalization projects, are growing with new residents and are creating lots of new businesses!
These 12 districts each create an individual work plan envisioned and implemented by a nonprofit Board of Directors that helps to execute the plan. Orlando Main Streets serve as the economic backbone for the city’s existing neighborhoods.
A quick history lesson: Orlando was founded in 1875 with 85 inhabitants, 22 of whom were qualified voters. Can you imagine Orlando was ever that small?!?! Now with a population of 2,038,000 and over 59.3 million visitors a year, we need to love on our local neighborhoods!