Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

December 1, 2020 | New Research from Brookings and the National Main Street Center on the Value of Main Street Organizations | By: Mike Powe, Ph.D., Director of Research, NMSC, and Hanna Love, Senior Research Analyst, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution   Today, the Brookings Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking released a new series of research briefs , developed in collaboration with the National Main Street Center, focused on the role that place governance organizations, like Main Street programs, play in revitalizing rural downtowns and promoting equitable rural economic and community development. The research briefs represent ...
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November 24, 2020 | Thankful for You: A Letter of Gratitude from Patrice Frey, President & CEO, NMSC |  Dear Main Street America Network, It goes without saying that Thanksgiving will look and feel differently this year. Many of us will be staying closer to home, keeping our celebrations small, and testing out alternative recipes so we aren’t stuck with leftovers for weeks on end. I imagine many of us will also be putting our newly-honed tech skills to good use by connecting with our loved ones virtually – Zoom Thanksgiving, anyone? While it will look and feel different, the gratitude I’m feeling this year is stronger than ever. I’m so proud to be ...
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November 23, 2020 | Congratulations to the 2020 MSARP Recipients! |  Join us in congratulating the newest recipients of the Main Street America Revitalization Professional credential! The Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) credential is the highest level of achievement offered through the Main Street America Institute , requiring dedication to online coursework, engagement with peers across the country in in-depth workshops, and demonstration of mastery of the Main Street approach through an intensive exam. In the midst of a challenging year, these leaders have prioritized professional development and growth in their commercial ...
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November 19, 2020 | New Book by Mary Means, Founder of the Main Street Movement | Main Street’s Comeback… And How It Can Come Back Again will hit the shelves in early winter 2020! Written by Mary Means, founder of the Main Street Movement, the book recounts the Main Street program’s origins, chronicles its impact as an influential movement, and describes why its principles and practices continue to be relevant today, especially given the economic challenges small towns face in the wake of COVID-19. The book is being hailed as a milestone in the field by distinguished practitioners and elected officials, including Ed McMahon, NMSC Board Chairman: “When ...
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November 19, 2020 | 2021 Main Street America Institute Course Schedule and Registration is Live! The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our work, but the core of the Main Street Approach remains as relevant as ever to creating vibrant – and resilient – commercial corridors. The pandemic has also opened us up to new ways of learning and interacting in the online environment. Join the Main Street America Institute (MSAI) to refocus on the key skills needed to lead recovery and revitalization. Plan your 2020 professional development calendar. Check out the 2020 Main Street America Institute course schedule and read through the course descriptions and learning ...
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November 17, 2020 | Business Spotlight: Women-Owned Businesses on Main Street (Part 3) |  October may have come to an end, but we’re still celebrating Women’s Small Business Month! This week, we are featuring a fresh roundup of interviews with women small business owners from around the Network. This week’s collection includes: Amber Lane Roberts owns Amber Lane Photo , a full-service boudoir and maternity studio, located in downtown Russellville, Arkansas. Amber Lane aims to help each of their clients see themselves confidently as the beautiful and strong person that they are. Roberts has been in business for three years. Tonya Smothers owns Stylz ...
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November 12, 2020 | Community Spotlight: Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Theater in Main Street Coon Rapids | By: Katie Mason, Executive Director, Main Street Coon Rapids |  The crowd gathered on Main Street to watch  Trolls World Tour on the big screen. Photo credit: Main Street Coon Rapids An entire block of downtown Coon Rapids, Iowa, was closed Friday, August 7 and again on Saturday, September 26 to make way for pop-up drive-in movie nights that provided a unique and engaging event for the entire family. The events were dubbed “Movies on Main” and are the result of several businesses and individuals working together to pull off an idea hatched by the Main ...
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November 10, 2020 | Main Spotlight: Developing a Toolbox to Help Manage Growth on Main Street | By: Kim McAuliffe, Downtown Development Manager, City of Georgetown Aerial shot of Downtown Georgetown. Photo credit: City of Georgetown When looking to the future and how to appropriately manage community growth, it is vital to have development tools in place. Over the years, the City of Georgetown has worked hard to maintain its character while also maximizing opportunities for economic development and for enhancing the quality of life for its residents. It has been a city council priority to manage growth through implementing a toolbox of resources for ...
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November 5, 2020 | New Webinar Opportunity: Creating Outdoor Spaces in Colder Months |  COVID-19 has forced us to be creative in the ways we support our main streets and downtowns as commercial and social centers by moving many indoor activities outside. This has been a great lifeline during the spring and summer but… winter is coming! We'll present some of the innovative ideas submitted as part of Bench Consulting's Winter Places  design competition for quickly implementable, low cost interventions to drive visitors back to Main Street and shop at area restaurants and businesses. We'll also discuss how to build support within your community ...
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November 2, 2020 | UrbanMain Partners with the Works, Inc. and the City of Memphis on Retail Study of South Memphis | Community members gather for a bike ride through South Memphis. Credit: The Works, Inc. UrbanMain, a program of the National Main Street Center, has partnered with The City of Memphis Office of Comprehensive Planning (OCP) and The Works, Inc. on a retail analysis for the South Memphis Area. UrbanMain will develop strategies to revitalize and strengthen the Four Way Business Improvement District and Bellevue Retail Corridor over the next several years.  The Memphis project is an initiative of The Work's Inc., which will ...
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October 30, 2020 | Announcing the 2020 Mary Means Leadership Award Recipient | Sharon Jablonski, Director of Morganton Main Street. Credit: Ethan Smith.(left) and Michael Berley (center and right) Sharon Jablonski, the Director of Morganton Main Street in Morganton, North Carolina, is the inaugural recipient of the Mary Means Leadership Award. Selected by a national jury, Sharon is being recognized for her innovative approach to downtown revitalization, which transformed Morganton into a thriving entertainment district, with a lively arts scene and strong local economy.    “A Main Street program’s success depends on the commitment ...
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October 30, 2020 | Announcing the 2020 Great American Main Street Award Winners | The National Main Street Center announced Boyne City Main Street in Boyne City Michigan; Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association in Tupelo, Mississippi; and Kendall Whittier Main Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners. GAMSA is the nation’s top award for communities that have excelled in comprehensive preservation-based downtown revitalization. The winners were announced at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s virtual PastForward Conference. "This year's GAMSA winners demonstrate the power of our commercial district ...
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October 30, 2020 | UrbanMain Develops Pilot Program in Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta | Credit: Sweet Auburn Works UrbanMain and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have partnered with Sweet Auburn Works to develop an UrbanMain pilot program in the Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta, thanks to the generosity of the Michael C. Carlos Foundation. UrbanMain and the National Trust will provide technical services, research assistance, and educational workshops to Sweet Auburn Works, Inc. (SAW) to contribute to revitalization efforts in the Sweet Auburn district.   “We are thrilled to deepen our revitalization work in the Sweet ...
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October 29, 2020 | Community Spotlight: Rainbow Flags on Main Street: Attracting LGBTQIA Businesses and Customers | By: Alexander M. Padro, Executive Director, Shaw Main Streets |  Photo credit: Campwillowlake October is LGBT+ History Month, one of the many annual national events that provide an opportunity for Main Street businesses, gay-owned and otherwise, to celebrate the diversity of their communities. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQIA) community is often on the forefront of revitalizing neighborhoods and commercial districts. Pride festivals and other events, as well as national and local media and LGBTQIA ...
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October 29, 2020 | Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association: 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist Spotlight | One of Downtown Tupelo's many murals welcomes folks to the district. On Oct. 30, we’ll announce the three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). In anticipation of the big reveal, we’re highlighting one GAMSA semifinalist per day on our blog, Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter from Oct. 20 -29. We’ll not only spotlight their impressive efforts from previous years, but we’ve also checked in with each community to hear about how their downtowns have been impacted by the pandemic, how their programs have ...
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October 28, 2020 | Main Spotlight: New Tool for Understanding Demographics of Main Street Communities | By: Michael Powe, Ph.D., Director of Research, NMSC, and Brittanii' Batts, Associate Manager of Projects and Research, NMSC |  On October 15th, Main Street staff were joined by Dr. Christina Gomez for a webinar on “ Demographics, Data, and Diversity .” Dr. Gomez shared her expertise related to topics of identity formation and demographic categorization and talked with us about the ways U.S. census data represents information about the race and ethnicity characteristics of the American population. At the end of the webinar, Norma Miess shared some thoughts ...
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October 28, 2020 | 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist Spotlight: Kendall Whittier Main Street | Kendall Whittier Mercado is a multi-cultural artisan market where shoppers can find unique handmade jewelry, clothing, shoes, blankets, baskets, original art & crafts, and much more. Credit Kendall Whittier Main Street On Oct. 30, we’ll announce the three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). In anticipation of the big reveal, we’re highlighting one GAMSA semifinalist per day on our blog, Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter from Oct. 20 -29. We’ll not only spotlight their impressive efforts from previous ...
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October 27, 2020 | Jefferson Matters: 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist Spotlight | Jefferson's unique rooftop art can only be seen from the top of the Mahanay Bell Tower's observation deck, which provides a 360-degree view of the downtown and rural landscape. A 47-bell carillon plays digitally each hour. Credit: Jamie Daubendiek   On Oct. 30, we’ll announce the three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). In anticipation of the big reveal, we’re highlighting one GAMSA semifinalist per day on our blog, Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter from Oct. 20 -29. We’ll not only spotlight their impressive ...
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October 27, 2020 | Business Spotlight: Women-Owned Businesses on Main Street (Part 2) |  October is Women’s Small Business Month! In celebration of the month, we are spotlighting women-owned businesses in our Main Street districts. Today, we are featuring Part 2 in our series. Meet these entrepreneurs below: Natasha Mathews is the owner of The Gaming Pad in Hudson, North Carolina. The Gaming Pad is a hobby store offering board games, card games, and collectibles. They also have a place for the community to gather to play games. Mathews reports that customers often tell her that they feel they can be themselves when they are at The Gaming ...
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October 26, 2020 | Last Chance! Join us at PastForward |  The virtual PastForward conference starts tomorrow! Taking place October 27 – 30, the virtual conference will feature a variety of content relevant to commercial district revitalization professionals. PastForward will feature sessions on topics such as racial justice and equity, dealing with the effects of the pandemic, climate change, and the challenges facing America’s Main Streets. This includes two special panels we are hosting on Friday, October 30 led by Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and NMSC Board Chairman, and Vu Le, nonprofit leader and blogger. Learn ...
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