Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

July 22, 2021 |  Illinois Main Street Selected for Small Business Community Navigator Program | A festival in Jacksonville, Illinois. Credit: Karen Anderson The Illinois Main Street Program has been selected as a Hub Organization for the Illinois Small Business Community Navigator Program . Illinois Main Street is one of 13 organizations across the state that will participate in this support program in partnership with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Through the program, 21 Illinois Main Street communities will receive up to $30,000 to help small businesses access economic recovery funds. “We are thrilled ...
0 comments
July 21, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Disaster Resilience on Main Street | By: Manuel T. Ochoa, AICP, Principal and Founder of the Ochoa Urban Collaborative |  A business in downtown Ellicott City after flooding in 2016. Photo credit:  Preservation Maryland / Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Recently, on a rainy summer afternoon, I visited Ellicott City, Maryland, with my family. I had just landed at BWI Airport, so this was the perfect opportunity to grab dinner and check out a town I had heard so much about. Founded by Quakers in 1772, Ellicott City was built at the confluence of the Tiber and Patapsco rivers as a mill town. One of the most prosperous mills on ...
0 comments
July 15, 2021 | Board Spotlight: Welcome to Main Street America's New Board Member, Deshea Agee | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, MSA |  Please join us in welcoming Deshea Agee to the Main Street America Board! Deshea Agee is the Vice President of Emem Group , a Milwaukee-based design build real estate firm specializing in residential and commercial real estate development services. He recently left his post of more than five years as the Executive Director of Historic King Drive Business Improvement District No. 8 (King Drive BID) and Director of the King Drive Main Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At King Drive BID, Deshea oversaw ...
0 comments
July 15, 2021 | The American Rescue Plan Can Be a Lifeline for Business Districts | By: Patrice Frey, President & CEO, Main Street America and Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations, Main Street America Photo courtesy of Main Street Central City. Note: This post was originally published on brookings.edu . From rural downtowns to urban commercial corridors, local business districts are centers of civic life and commercial activity. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these districts already faced serious challenges, including decades of disinvestment, limited access to capital and broadband, brain drain, and competition ...
0 comments
July 14, 2021 | Main Street America’s Field Team Gets Back on the Road | Kathy tours downtown New Hampton, Iowa. From left to right: Kathy stops at Quilter’s Window, a destination quilt shop. Center: Kathy and program staff had lunch at the Gathering Place with local pork BBQ sandwiches and ate in an outside alley. Credit: Carol Lilly. After over a year of being grounded at her home office in New Hampshire, Main Street America’s Senior Director of Revitalization Programs and long-time Road Warrior Kathy La Plante finally got back on the road to visit Main Street communities in May. Through a partnership with Main Street Iowa, Kathy has visited 18 ...
0 comments
July 9, 2021 | Announcing the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award |  We are thrilled to be a co-sponsor of the   Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award (STACVA) , an annual awards program sponsored by   CivicPlus .  STACVA is an annual program that honors 100 extraordinary public service volunteers in localities under 25,000. It spotlights the urgent need for citizens to fill critical civic volunteer roles including local government boards and councils, volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and the many advisory committees that support key local government functions. Localities represented by the top 100 national nominees will qualify for a free volunteer ...
0 comments
July 7, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Get Used to It – The Pivot is Not Going Away | By: Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Main Street America |  The return to bricks-and-mortar shopping is on the rebound, with consumer exuberance pushing supply chains to near failure and inventories for many goods to all-time lows. In fact, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) , overall consumer expenditures increased 11.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021. While it may feel and look similar to consumerism à la 2019, we cannot let the excitement mask the fact that interactions between businesses and consumers have fundamentally changed, creating ...
0 comments
June 30, 2021 | Announcing Darryl Young as New Chair of Main Street America Board |  Please join us in welcoming Darryl Young as the new Chair of the Main Street America Board . Darryl Young has served on the Board since 2015, and has played an integral role in the organization’s growth and success over the past six years. Darryl’s expertise in sustainable communities, philanthropy, and communications has brought an immense benefit to growing MSA’s work in advancing healthy communities with economically vibrant downtowns. Darryl serves as the Director of the Sustainable Cities Program at the Summit Foundation, a program focused on connecting sustainability ...
0 comments
June 28, 2021 | Main Spotlight: A Tribute to Ed McMahon, Board Chair of Main Street America | Ed McMahon speaking at the Opening Plenary of the 2017 Main Street Now Conference. Photo credit: Main Street America For the past five years, Ed McMahon has served as the Chair of Main Street America’s Board of Directors: a role in which he has actively championed the Main Street movement and advocated for the Network’s continued success. Throughout this time, his expertise in real estate development and community revitalization has been an immeasurable support to Main Street America’s growth. In addition to sharing his expertise with the national organization, ...
0 comments
June 28, 2021 | 2021 Community Transformation Workshop: Registration Open |  Cheyenne, Wyoming. Photo credit: Jennifer Rood Photography Make your plans now to join the Main Street America Institute in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the 2021 In-Person Community Transformation Workshop. From September 15-17, commercial district revitalization professionals from across the country will come together to learn how strategy, through the lens of the refreshed Main Street Approach, guides successful efforts to transform and sustain our communities. Led by expert instructors from Main Street America and renowned expert in real estate and economic development ...
0 comments
June 24, 2021 | Reflecting on the History, Legacy, and Future of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street | Left: Dozens of musicians took the stage during Legacy Fest. Center: Crowds gather to take in the festivities. Right: Grammy Award-winner P.J. Morton performs for a crowd. Photos courtesy of Dr. Tiffany Crutcher. This May marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the early 1900s, Greenwood was home to a thriving Black Wall Street: a commercial district with businesses owned by and for Black Americans during a time of entrenched racial segregation. But on May 31, 1921, this economic center of ...
0 comments
June 24, 2021 | UrbanMain Communities Commemorate Juneteenth: Events from Around the Network |   Above left: A dance class at the Juneteenth Family Festival and Black Business Crawl in Morgan Park/ Beverly Hills in Chicago. Photo credit: Beverly Review. Above right: Nakeisha Turner, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ave. Main Street in Baltimore is interviewed about the city's Black Business Crawl. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Main Streets. Last weekend, UrbanMain communities across the country celebrated Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the ending of slavery in America and a new federal holiday . On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers ...
0 comments
June 18, 2021 | Main Streets Celebrate Juneteenth: Our New Federal Holiday | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, Main Street America | Archival photograph of a Juneteenth celebration. Graphic courtesy of the National Museum of African American History & Culture Main Street communities across the nation are celebrating Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the ending of slavery in America and the nation’s newest federal holiday ! On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved Black people were now free. (Note this was ...
0 comments
June 17, 2021 | Community Spotlight: USDA's Rural Innovation Placemaking Challenge Accepted by Pennsylvania Downtown Center | By: Pennsylvania Downtown Center |  Downtown New Castle, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Jon Dawson ( license ) The Rural Innovation Placemaking Challenge from USDA is currently accepting applications through July 26, 2021. This Challenge is designed to empower rural communities to develop actionable strategies to capitalize on community assets through the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to the community’s social, physical, and economic well-being. In 2020, Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), the state’s ...
0 comments
June 15, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Creating a Community for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Fremont, CA | By: Tina Kapoor, Economic Development Manager, City of Fremont |  Photo credit: Fremont Economic Development The COVID-19 pandemic caused layoffs and closures for businesses nationwide, especially minority-owned small businesses. Both minority workers and business owners including people of color, women, and low-income families in the retail, hospitality, transportation, and travel industries were most heavily affected. As we enter the next era of entrepreneurship, local governments are aiming to support inclusivity, level the playing field, and provide ...
0 comments
June 14, 2021 | For an Inclusive Recovery, We Need Support for Small Business and the Groups that Help Them | By: Michelle Harati, Policy Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation This blog was originally published by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as a part of their Community Wise Blog on June 10, 2021. Main Street America is committed to helping small businesses recover and building strong, place-based ecosystems that help communities thrive holistically. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Main Street America has been advocating for federal support for business development organizations  – like Main Street programs – as part ...
0 comments
June 11, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Celebrating Pride Month 2021 on Main Street | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, Main Street America | "Love Notes:" a pop-up public art installation celebrating Pride Month in Downtown SLO's Mission Plaza. Photo credit: Downtown SLO June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month! From small business owners to public artists to local leaders, join us this month to amplify the impact of the LGBTQ+ community in your Main Street district. Get started by downloading our Pride Month on Main Street social media graphics , purchasing Pride Flags to hang in your downtown (can't find them locally? Get them for free here ), or looking ...
0 comments
June 10, 2021 | 2022 Main Street Now Conference Call for Proposals | Submit a session proposal for next year's Main Street Now Conference in Richmond, Virginia held May 16-18, 2022 . Start planning your session now to share your ideas by the submission deadline on August 13, 2021! At next year's conference, we will celebrate the community resilience and reinvestment championed by our Main Street programs through the COVID-19 pandemic and begin envisioning strategic opportunities to strengthen and expand our commercial districts as we emerge into a new economic future.    Along with our partners at the Virginia Main Street Program, we invite proposals ...
0 comments
June 9, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Five Takeaways on Supporting Entrepreneurship from Matthew Wagner, Ph.D. | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, Main Street America |  Earlier this week, Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer at Main Street America, was featured on Breaking Down Barriers : a podcast from Startup Space highlighting stories of community leaders who break down barriers to entry for underserved and unrepresented entrepreneurs. In their thirty-minute conversation, Dr. Wagner and host David Ponraj explored the essential role that Main Street organizations play in supporting entrepreneurship and important considerations for rebuilding ...
0 comments
June 3, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Mount Joy Business Collab Creates New Product Line | By: Rochelle A. Shenk, Correspondent, Elizabethtown Advocate |  Main Street Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Dave Schell, Executive Director of Main Street Mount Joy (MSMJ) This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2021, edition of the Elizabethtown Advocate. A collaboration between Ladybug Suds N' Scrubs and The Gentlemen's Barbershop has resulted in a product line for the barbershop. The partnership between the two businesses was fostered by Main Street Mount Joy. "A lot of people think all we do are events. We are an economic development organization. ...
0 comments