Neighborhood News: Join UrbanMain at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference

March 11, 2019 | Neighborhood News: Join UrbanMain at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference  
Seattle_convening_2017_UrbanMain.jpgThe inaugural UrbanMain network convening in Seattle, Washington, in 2017. 

Marking two years since we kicked-off the UrbanMain Network in Seattle, we’re excited to return for the 2019 Main Street Now Conference. The conference program includes a full array of sessions geared towards those working in neighborhood commercial districts, and we’re delighted to report that there will be many UrbanMain partners and practitioners from across the country in attendance. If this is your first conference, welcome!

Get with the Program

We encourage you to explore the line-up in the MSN 2019 conference app – but we’d be remiss not to highlight some of the key sessions in the UrbanMain track, including:

  • Anchor Institutions and Neighborhood Districts
Monday, March 25, 10:30am - 12:00pm
512 Willapa

Anchor institutions often demarcate a community for revitalization success, yet the relationship building between a neighborhood commercial district and their local university, hospital or large corporation can be fraught with challenges. Join this panel of corridor and civic leaders, moderated by NMSC’s Director of Urban Programs, Dionne Baux, to learn about the successes, pitfalls – and everything in between –  of developing meaningful partnerships with the anchor institutions in urban Main Street districts.

  • UrbanMain Network: Year in Review, Chicago
Wednesday, March 27, 1:15pm - 2:30pm
605 Snohomish

Participants of the UrbanMain Network will share their experiences participating in NMSC’s pilot program in Chicago. The panel will include the winning neighborhood organizations (QCDC and 51st Street Businesses Association) and one of the funding partners (Groupon). Goals for the session will be to communicate results, discuss lessons learned, examine challenges, explore collaborative work between grantee and funder, and understand the value of being part of a network focused on urban issues. This session will serve as an opportunity for those interested in participating in UrbanMain Network to ask topical questions about the UrbanMain program.

  • Promoting and Preserving Legacy Businesses
Wednesday, March 27, 2:45pm - 3:30pm
605 Snohomish

Legacy businesses serve as hubs of social capital and cohesion that support local culture and stability. These community anchors—retailers, service providers, manufacturers, nonprofit organizations, and more—are the places that give our communities their character. Despite their out-sized civic and economic role, many face multiple threats to their survival. Learn about efforts in San Francisco, Seattle, and San Antonio to recognize, celebrate, strengthen, and protect these valuable third spaces.

But don’t forget to explore!

Beyond the UrbanMain track you will find conference sessions that apply to districts of every size and region. Be sure to check-out the full line-up and consider some of these special events, too:

  • The Land of OZ: Pulling Back the Curtain on Opportunity Zones
Wednesday, March 27 11:45am - 1:00pm
Quinault Ballroom

Created by Congress in 2017, the Opportunity Zones (OZ) program encourages investment in low-income communities, both urban and rural, through tax incentives for investors. With 46% of Main Street programs overlapping an Opportunity Zone, this economic development tool has the potential to create huge impacts for downtown development. Join this lunch-time panel of experts to answer some of your key questions about the program: What’s in it for investors? What projects are eligible? How can my community use this program? Space is limited and first-come, first-served.

  • General Session: Entrepreneurship on Main Street: Making the Case for Place
Wednesday, March 27 8:15am - 9:45am
Columbia Ballroom C

At Main Street Now 2018 in Kansas City, we introduced a conversation on fostering entrepreneurship on Main Street through a “grow your own” strategy. Building on last year’s session, join this panel discussion to consider the role a Main Street program can play in setting the table for a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem. Speakers will highlight the role of place, honing-in on the ways to leverage your community’s physical and environmental assets to attract, support, and retain entrepreneurs.

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