In the mid 1970's, to reverse the decline and deterioration of New Bern's downtown, City and County officials and community leaders commissioned development of the 1977 Central Business District Revitalization Plan. In 1979 Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, a private non-profit, was established to spearhead and coordinate the revitalization of the downtown and the redevelopment of its waterfront.
In 1980, New Bern was selected to participate in the new North Carolina Main Street Program, developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that promotes downtown revitalization within the context of historic preservation. Over the past 30 years property values increased dramatically, more than $200 million has been invested in public and private rehabilitation and new construction projects. By emphasizing downtown’s historic assets and new waterfront development, downtown New Bern has experienced positive economic growth and is recognized as an award-winning Main Street success story.
Swiss Bear, funded in part by the City and County, fundraising campaigns and proceeds from MUMFEST, is governed by a 35 member Board of Directors, chaired by Tom McGraw. The Swiss Bear office, located at 316 South Front Street, is managed by Executive Director Susan Moffat-Thomas and Administrative Assistant Danielle Glynn. Swiss Bear's Mission Statement
For local business related information, call 252.638.5781 or visit Business Resources. For information on Federal Tax Deductions-Easements; Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties and NC Main Street Center..