Governor Rick Snyder visited Charlotte Thursday, Nov. 9 to take part in a graduation ceremony recognizing the City of Charlotte’s completion of the Governor’s Project Rising Tide program. The Governor congratulated city leaders on accomplishments within the community over the course of the last two years, but urged community members to keep moving forward.

“This is not the end of something when you talk about a graduation,” Snyder said. “This is a milestone we should celebrate, that the community should celebrate doing great things together. CharlotteRising is just an awesome program, and I know it goes with great pride in the community.”

Going forward, Snyder said it’s important to keep the momentum Project Rising Tide has helped generate.

“Don’t take your foot off the gas,” You’re accelerating. Now is not the time to be complacent or content about this. Just keep going as fast and forward as you can.”

Charlotte Mayor Tim Lewis assured the Governor that the Charlotte community is poised to continue its focus on downtown revitalization.

“Over the past two years what we’ve seen is our community stepping forward,” Lewis said.

“What I see is great enthusiasm for our continuation downtown. We see buildings changing currently, we see ownership changing, we see building structures changing, we see paintings of buildings and upgrading of buildings downtown. It’s a wonderful time.”

Since Project Rising Tide was instituted in Charlotte, downtown has seen five renovations completed, six business improvements, seven new businesses started and 13 renovation projects currently underway.

Snyder said the purpose of Project Rising Tide was to be catalyst in some of the smaller communities in the state.

CharlotteRising executive director Dillon Rush touched on the how the project succeeded in its mission in Charlotte, serving as a catalyst for change that community members could sense was on the horizon, but needed a push in the right direction to make tangible change a reality.

“The impact of Project Rising Tide and CharlotteRising is felt on our streets, sidewalks, storefronts, and, most importantly, in our stories of Charlotte,” Rush said. “It’s through Project Rising Tide that CharlotteRising was formed. The empowering guidance from the Project Rising Tide team focused our community to enhance our downtown and better collaborate amongst our separate organizations to work as one. Through that collaboration, CharlotteRising formed with the mission to cultivate a vibrant and enduring downtown—and we are well on our way to doing just that.”

Snyder added that he will look for Charlotte to be a role model for the next wave of Project Rising Tide communities.