Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

January 22, 2020 | Announcing the Winners of the David J. Brown and Mary Thompson MSAI Scholarships Congratulations to the inaugural recipients of the Main Street America Institute scholarships in honor of our distinguished former National Main Street Center (NMSC) board members, Mary Thompson and David J. Brown. The Main Street America Institute (MSAI), NMSC’s education and professional credentialing program, offers two full scholarships to participate in the Institute’s 10 online courses and two workshops, concluding in a final exam and receipt of the Main Street America Revitalization Professional credential. These annual scholarships honor two of the ...
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January 22, 2020 | Main Spotlight: Creating an Exchange of Ideas, Perspectives, and Relationships | By: Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa Coordinator, Iowa Economic Development Authority | Main Street Exchange Visits allow for program volunteers to build relationships and have fun visiting a new downtown. Photo credit: Main Street Centerville   I recently had the experience of walking into a downtown business with my kids. As we walked around the store, we started to notice several small things that the business owner could do to improve our experience within her shop. My family is not a bashful bunch, so we decided to ask the business owner what she ...
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January 16, 2020 | Main Street Year in Review | The beginning of a new decade brings excitement and anticipation but before we dive into all that 2020 will bring, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on everything we accomplished together in 2019. It was a big year for us and for the Main Street America movement nationally. So, to kick-off the beginning of this new decade, we highlighted 20 ways that the Main Street America movement grew stronger in 2019. CHECK IT OUT > #Blogs
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January 16, 2020 | Community Spotlight: Missouri Main Street Connection Leads the Iowa Community Expedition | By: Missouri Main Street Connection | Credit: Missouri Main Street Connection Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) had the opportunity to take Missouri Executive Directors and other community representatives on the Iowa Community Expedition in November. These community leaders visited five different communities in Iowa and learned valuable lessons at each stop. The five communities were Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Downtown Des Moines East Village, Valley Junction, and Centerville. MMSC was ecstatic that the red carpet was rolled out and overwhelmed ...
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Small businesses are vital to thriving communities. They help strengthen and diversify neighborhoods and provide pathways for innovation and entrepreneurship. But the current and future retail landscape is changing. That’s why American Express® is teaming up with Main Street America to give 10 small business owners $10,000 each to help their businesses innovate in this evolving retail landscape. The American Express Future of Shopping Small Grant Program will celebrate small businesses across the country that are a vital part of their community. The program is intended to support small businesses that have demonstrated new approaches to traditional business strategies ...
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January 14, 2020 | Main Spotlight: Embracing the Big Four-Oh! The Story of the Texas Main Street Program—And How it Almost Didn’t Happen | By Debra Drescher, Texas Main Street Program Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission, and Rob Hodges, Communications Project Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission Anice Read, founder of the Texas Main Street Program (left of center), with some of the state’s earliest program managers in the 1980s. Courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission. The Texas Main Street Program, Texas Historical Commission, and Friends of the Texas Historical Commission will co-host the 2020 Main Street Now Conference in Dallas, May 18–20, ...
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January 9, 2020 | Apply for 2020 America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places |  The National Trust for Historic Preservation is now accepting applications for the 2020 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  Since 1988, the National Trust has used its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of our nation's greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 300 sites to date , has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that less than five percent of these sites have been lost. When evaluating a potential site for inclusion on the list, the National ...
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January 9, 2020 | Community Spotlight: Roswell, NM, Believes...in the Power of Placemaking! | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | From its annual UFO Festival to the International UFO Museum & Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico, certainly knows how to attract visitors to celebrate unidentified flying objects. But checking out crop circles does not necessarily mean these visitors are also checking out the commercial corridor. How to move tourists from these extraterrestrial attractions to the downtown? MainStreet Roswell has a solution: public art. Their star-filled mural merges Roswell’s appreciation for their UFO history with place-based ...
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January 9, 2020 | Big Impacts, Small Towns | By: Lindsey Wallace, Director of Strategic Projects and Design Services, NMSC | Local artists Jamil Burton (l) and Maximillian Mozingo (r) stand with Wendy Snow-Walker (center) of the Arts Council of Wayne County in front of their winning design for the African American Music Trails of North Carolina wall mural in downtown Goldsboro, NC. Credit: Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation, Inc. and the Arts Council of Wayne County Placemaking is more than beautiful murals—it is an approach that actively stimulates and sustains downtown economic development. In this week’s Main Spotlight, Lindsey Wallace, NMSC’s ...
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December 30, 2019 | Top Blog Posts of 2019 | As 2019 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at some of the most popular Main Street America blog posts from this past year. Check out the top five below! #1: Announcing the 2019 Great American Main Street Award Winners On March 25, the National Main Street Center announced Alberta Main Street in Portland, Oregon; Wausau River District in Wausau, Wisconsin; and Wheeling Heritage in Wheeling, West Virginia, as the 2019 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. Learn more ...
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December 19, 2019 | The Winners of the Small Business Saturday® Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest Are… | In November, we asked Main Street America members for their most innovative ideas for celebrating Small Business Saturday® as an American Express® Neighborhood Champion. From an interactive game show to an ugly sweater crawl, the 16 winners of the Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest had some truly creative ideas for encouraging their communities to Shop Small! The entrant with the most innovative idea received one $1,000 gift card, and 15 other programs with creative plans won $500 gift cards in recognition of their ...
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December 17, 2019 | Letter from the President: The Season of Giving | By: Patrice Frey, President and CEO, NMSC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Main Street Colleagues, Over the past 40 years, the Main Street program has helped to transform cities and towns across America. Thanks to the efforts of the Main Street America movement at the local, city, state, and national level, the future is bright. Stories from across the network point to a path forward for communities ...
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December 12, 2019 | Staff Spotlight: Debra Wise, Senior Business Manager | As the longest-serving staff member at the National Main Street Center, Deb knows Main Street from the inside out. She joined the team during the Center’s Urban Demonstration Project in 1986 and has decades of experience and expertise in the management of the Center’s financial operations. Read on to learn more about Deb’s memories over her 34-year career at the Center and what Main Street means to her. What is your day-to-day like at NMSC? I’m usually reviewing contracts and budgets, creating spreadsheets, processing payables, generating invoices, and chatting with John, NMSC’s ...
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December 11, 2019 | Cultivating Community: How Placemaking Helped Us Heal | By: Jenny Enslen Stubbs | The original concept rendering for The Alleyway/Tulotoma Snail Trail. Credit: Design and Drawings by Anna Powers in partnership with Main Street Wetumpka In 2017, newly designated Main Street Wetumpka found purpose in the Tulotoma Snail Trail, its cultivating place project utilizing art to tell the history of its community. But while the project proved a useful tool in its revitalization efforts from the start, the true test of its success came after an EF-2 tornado touched down and devastated its community. When learning about the history of Wetumpka, ...
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December 4, 2019 | 2020 Main Street Now Conference Registration is Now Open! | Join fellow commercial district revitalization leaders from across the country in Dallas, Texas from May 18-20 for three days of education sessions, special events, field sessions, and opportunities to explore Dallas and surrounding Main Street communities. Whether you come from an urban business district, small rural downtown, or somewhere in between, you'll find solutions to common problems and discover new techniques to help your community thrive. Get early bird rates now through February 3! Schedule-at-a-Glance | Education Sessions | Field Sessions ...
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December 3, 2019 | What Does "Supporting Local" Really Look Like? | Grand opening picture of Downtown Wytheville’s newest jewelry store P.R Sturgill’s The December theme of the We Are Main Street campaign is Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs . We encourage you to showcase all those who make your commercial district thrive using #WeAreMainStreet this month...and beyond. As Todd Wolford, Executive Director of Downtown Wytheville Inc. (Va.), emphasizes in this week's Main Spolight, small businesses and entrepreneurs in our communities need our support year-round, not just during the holiday season. We’ve all heard the term “support ...
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December 3, 2019 | Support the Main Street Movement this Giving Tuesday | We believe that everyone deserves access to a vibrant neighborhood – a place that has a thriving local economy, is rich in character, and features inviting public spaces that make residents and visitors feel that they belong. Yet, we know that many Americans, whether in small towns or big cities, miss out on these benefits. On this Giving Tuesday, we ask you to support us in our collective mission to make this right. Main Street America empowers communities to set their own destinies by offering a road-map for locally-owned, locally-driven prosperity. For 40 years, thousands ...
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November 26, 2019 | Thanksgiving Inspiration | By Patrice Frey, President and CEO, NMSC Last week, National Main Street Center Board Chair Ed McMahon and I visited Northern Ireland at the invitation of the Heritage Trust Network , a group that is dedicated to helping its members save heritage resources throughout the UK. Town leaders and heritage professionals gathered in Derry, Northern Ireland, to explore methods to strengthen their town centers in a way that embraces and leverages heritage resources. Ed gave a masterful speech in which he spoke about the power of the Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization, and the essential role of heritage ...
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November 19, 2019 | In and Around, Out and About Dallas: A Preview of Field Sessions at Main Street Now 2020 | By Debra Drescher, Texas Main Street Program Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission, and Rob Hodges, Communications Project Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission | Students engaging with art in the Dallas Arts District. Courtesy of ADEX Dallas Architecture and Design Foundation. The 2020 Main Street Now Conference  will be held in Dallas from May 18–20, with the opening reception occurring the night of May 17. Register here  to take advantage of early bird rates through Feb. 3! The Texas Main Street Program, Texas Historical Commission, ...
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November 18, 2019 | The 2020 Main Street America Institute Course Schedule Are you looking to re-energize your revitalization knowledge base? Do you want a little extra guidance from experts in the field? The Main Street America Institute (MSAI) can help. Take three steps to start your journey today. 1. Plan your 2020 professional development calendar. Check out the 2020 MSAI course schedule and read through course descriptions and learning objectives here. Whether you are interested in taking one course or pursuing a certificate or credential, MSAI can grow your toolbox for revitalization. 2. Learn about the program and ask questions! Uncertain if professional ...
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