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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Street Resources

March 18, 2020 | Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Street Resources |
Copy_of_Copy_of_COVID-19_Image.pngPatrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center, in a letter to the Network regarding COVID-19. Read the full letter here.

As NMSC President and CEO Patrice Frey stated in her letter to the Network last Friday, "Community is at the heart of everything we do." To support our community of Main Street programs during the COVID-19 crisis, we have launched a new resource center webpage to help Main Streets navigate the unique challenges facing our communities during this unprecedented time. We will be compiling existing resources, opportunities, and community response examples over the coming days and weeks to keep you informed as the situation evolves. We are updating this new webpage frequently, so please keep checking back for the latest information.

This resource center webpage includes:

  • Relevant information from federal agencies and national organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
  • A listing of funding opportunities as well as information on upcoming webinars and virtual events;
  • Tip Sheets with quick ideas and inspiration that your program can implement during the crisis;
  • Social graphics highlighting ways your local community can continue to engage and support your Main Street businesses--ready for download and sharing! Be sure to use #SupportLocalSafely when posting;
  • And more!


We also encourage you to exchange ideas and tips with your Main Street colleagues via our online member community, The Point. For state-specific information, we also encourage you to visit your state health department website and reach out to your Coordinating Programs.

Community Response Roundup

We are also launching a new blog series featuring community response examples from around the Network. These are a collection of ideas and approaches that local Main Street programs are taking in response to the pandemic. Here is a selection of the latest community responses.
New Remote Event Planning. After Downtown SLO in San Luis Obispo, Calif., suspended their Thursday Farmers Market, they decided to open a Virtual Farmers Market. The virtual market contains links to vendors' websites, where consumers can purchase items and support vendors until the farmers market returns.

Sharing Infographics.
Six Corners Business Association in Chicago, Ill., shared this infographic in their email newsletter today. Thanks for keeping your members informed, Six Corners!

Gathering Data. Downtown Cambridge in Cambridge, Md., is surveying their Main Street businesses to gauge the economic impact on their businesses. They plan to then share this data with their local, state, and national partners. Downtown Metuchen in Metuchen, N.J., is tracking critical issues, like layoffs, access to funding, and concerns about utilities shutoff, as well as all businesses that shut down and when. Downtown Metuchen will use this baseline data to identify needs and to target resources to businesses.

Online Shopping Business Directory. In their blog post Supporting Local When You Can't Be Local, Marietta Main Street in Marietta, Oh., created a business directory of local businesses that are "open" for online shopping. Next to each business's website and phone number, the blog states how the business can connect with shoppers: free delivery, curbside pick-up, and more.

Gift Card Challenge. Downtown Laramie in Laramie, Wyo., is incentivizing their community to #SupportLocalSafely by buying gift cards from downtown businesses in their new Gift Card Challenge. For every gift card valued at $20 or more purchased between March 16 to April 10, the purchaser will be entered in a weekly drawing of a $25 downtown gift certificate. Downtown Laramie is also encouraging purchasers to post a picture of their newly acquired gift cards on social media! 

We look forward to providing you with additional Main Street-specific resources and community responses. Please fill out this form if you'd like to contribute.​

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, insurance, liability, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, insurance, tax, and accounting advisors for guidance on these matters.