Blogs

Main Street Blog

December 5, 2018 | Main Spotlight: A Proven Economic Development Strategy | By Edward T. McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and Chairman of the National Main Street Center’s Board of Directors | Main Street’s holistic, incremental approach to community revitalization works—this has been proven time and time again. In this special edition of Main Spotlight, NMSC Board Chair Ed McMahon takes a look at  why  it works. From exploring the power of small steps to the importance of investing in people and creating quality places, he makes an undeniable case for community leaders that Main Street is always a better economic strategy than ...
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December 5, 2018 | 1772 Foundation Inc. Tours Façade Improvement Projects in Texas | Photo credits: (Top, L-R) Marie Oehlerking-Read, Texas Main Street Project Designer; Ina McDowell, Main Street Texarkana Executive Director; Lindsey Wallace,  Sr. Manager, Special Projects at the National Main Street Center (NMSC);  Mayor Bob Bruggeman of Texarkana, Texas; Mayor Ruth Penney Bell of Texarkana, Arkansas; Mary Anthony; Gillian Lang; Patrice Frey, President and CEO of NMSC; and Debra Drescher, Texas Main Street State Coordinator. (Bottom, L-R) Tracy Cox, San Augustine Main Street Executive Director; Leroy Hughes, San Augustine Mayor; Patrice Frey, NMSC; Mary ...
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December 4, 2018 | Introducing the Friends of Main Street Program  The National Main Street Center is pleased to introduce the Friends of Main Street program!     This new membership level gives individual supporters the opportunity to join the Main Street Movement. Across the network, communities are using the Main Street Approach to create vibrant neighborhoods with thriving local economies. Join as a Friends of Main Street member for just $95 a year to help us develop new resources to aid their efforts. Plus, you’ll gain access to these valuable benefits: State of Main , our annual printed publication that celebrates the Main Street America ...
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December 3, 2018 | National Main Street Trends Survey Now Open |  The annual Main Street Trends Survey is now open! This important tool helps us understand the profile of those the Center serves. With a better handle on who you are and what you need, we can tailor our resources to better prepare you for the challenges ahead. This year, we will once again release a snapshot of the results that you will be able to use when communicating the value of Main Street, on both a local and national level. The questionnaire should take 10-15 minutes to complete, and will close on Friday, December 21. Thanks for your time! TAKE THE SURVEY > ...
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November 29, 2018 | Community Spotlight: Four Boston Main Street Districts Awarded Over $50K in Grants Photo credit: Boston Main Streets The Boston Main Streets Foundation recently awarded two Connecting Communities Exploration grants to four Boston Main Streets districts, including Allston-Brighton. A total of $35,000 was awarded to Allston Village Main Streets and Brighton Main Streets to launch the AllBright Arts Crawl, a two-day event showcasing the artistic community’s long-standing contribution to the two neighborhoods. This weekend will connect Allston and Brighton through pedicabs, bikes and self-directed walking and biking tours. There ...
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November 28, 2018 | Main Street Success Stories  Photo credit:   Livermore Downtown, Inc The organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders working to advance our common cause of fostering vibrant, thriving communities never cease to inspire. From leading the restoration of entire city blocks to cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs, changemakers across the country are transforming communities and breathing life into the places we call home. We invite you to explore a new set of success stories illustrating the range and depth of work across the nationwide Main Street America Network. GET INSPIRED > #Blogs ...
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November 28, 2018 | Hurricane Florence Relief: Downtown Giving Downtown Morehead, North Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence. The North Carolina Downtown Development Association (NCDDA), in partnership with the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, is accepting donations for North Carolina downtowns impacted by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Downtowns throughout eastern North Carolina were impacted by Hurricane Florence. More than 250 downtown buildings were significantly damaged by high winds and storm surge. It is important to get these businesses back up and running as quickly as possible.  North Carolina Main Street Communities: ...
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November 26, 2018 | Giving Tuesday 2018  After all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, we're kicking off the holiday giving season by asking you to support the Main Street Movement on Giving Tuesday. This powerful movement of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders are making a difference in small towns, mid-sized cities and urban areas across the country. Support Main Streets across America through a gift to the National Main Street Center here .   Find a local Main Street America program to support here .   #Blogs #Announcement
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November 19, 2018 | National Main Street Center Joins Launch of Bass Center on Transformative Placemaking | Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center, discussing says the psychological impacts on humans when we live in places that aren’t conducive to a thriving community. Photo via Brookings Metro Last week, the National Main Street Center (NMSC) participated in the launch of the Bass Center on Transformative Placemaking . Housed within the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, the Bass Center inspires public, private, and civic sector leaders to make transformative place investments that generate ...
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November 16, 2018 | Main Street America Institute: Registration Open for 2019 Courses |  During the Day 2 District Investigation, participants interview a local business owner in  MainStreet Cleveland, Tenn. "I absolutely LOVED my MSAI experience and reference it SO often, more than I ever expected to. I'm now in another position since I completed the credential, and I've referenced it in every job, at least once every other week to others, and more often to myself. I'm so grateful to have been a part of it." - Liz Brodek, Executive Director of The East Side BID in Milwaukee Are you looking to re-energize your revitalization knowledge base? ...
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November, 15, 2018 | Community Spotlight: Main Street Wadsworth |  Thousands of community members gather in Main Street Wadsworth to watch the Independence Day fireworks. Photo Credit: Tom Stugmyer Wadsworth, which is home to astronaut Mike Foreman and John D. Rockefeller’s wife, Laura Spelman Rockefeller, is a city of 23,000 residents and the third fastest-growing city in Northeast Ohio. Since becoming Ohio’s 22 nd Main Street community in 2016, Main Street Wadsworth has experienced unprecedented momentum. As a nod to its history of having the world’s largest match factory under one roof – the Ohio Match Factory, Main Street Wadsworth’s tagline ...
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November 15, 2018 | Announcing the South Shore UrbanMain Program | The National Main Street Center announced the selection of a new neighborhood district for its UrbanMain program in Chicago. The South Shore Chamber of Commerce will receive technical assistance and capacity building to support its work to foster sustainable and inclusive economic development along the 71 st  Street commercial corridor on Chicago’s South Side. UrbanMain’s work in Chicago is made possible through a three-year commitment from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation . UrbanMain is a program of the National Main Street Center designed to help restore economic vitality and ...
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November 13, 2018 | Main Spotlight: Whales, Housing, Beer, and Amazon | By Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Coordinator, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation  Farm fields and cascades in the summer heat at Skagit Farm Lands. Photo credit: Roseanna Dana Washington Main Street will co-host the 2019   Main Street Now Conference  in Seattle, March 25-27. Get to know our host city through this special pre-conference blog series. Conference registration is now open!  We encourage you to take advantage of the early-bird, member rates, and the new special rate for civic leaders. There are so many different faces of Washington State. We ...
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November 6, 2018 | Main Street Now Session Preview: Activating Youth Voice to Revitalize a Community |  Students from the Olney Youth Advisory Council participate in a community beautification project. Main Street Now Session Preview Register now to join UrbanMain at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Wash., March 25-27. From now until March, we’ll be giving you a preview of educational sessions geared towards larger cities and neighborhood districts. First up, The North 5 th Street Revitalization Project in Philadelphia, Pa. will present a session highlighting their Youth Engagement Transformation Strategy, which focuses on the ...
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November 6, 2018 | District Spotlight: Pontiac, Michigan | By John Bry, Principal Planner of Oakland County Main Street Program Coordinator |  Phoenix Derby Races by Roy Aikers Pontiac, Michigan, has been recognized by Main Street Oakland County as a Main Street community since 2002. Like its nearby sister cities of Flint and Detroit, the city was largely built upon the auto industry and suffered through a devastating financial crisis that left the city bankrupt. When Pontiac began to emerge from bankruptcy, millions of dollars of investment poured into downtown district. Yet, due to a lack of resources and direction, Main Street Pontiac (MSP) struggled ...
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November 6, 2018 | Branded Wayfinding for Cities, Districts and Regions | By Todd Mayfield, Principal and Group Creative Director for Axia |  Wayfinding is an important component of a successful destination. It moves people through an environment and into desired locations within it using signage and other visual cues. Wayfinding guides people to places they seek but it also brings awareness to places they may have otherwise missed. It can guide people away from areas you don’t want them to see. Wayfinding helps people find parking areas sooner. The less time spent in cars means more time “spent” in your stores. When visitors see well maintained wayfinding ...
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November 1, 2018 | Community Spotlight: Texas Communities Join Prestigious Revitalization Program |  Granger, Mesquite and the Emancipation Avenue/Historic Third Ward, Texas. Photo credit: Texas Historical Commission The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has designated Granger, Mesquite, and the Emancipation Avenue/Historic Third Ward district of Houston as incoming 2019 official Texas Main Street cities. The announcement was made October 24 at the THC’s quarterly commission meeting in Laredo, Texas. The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Granger, Mesquite, and ...
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October 30, 2018 | New Affordable Health Insurance Alternatives | By Robert Dooley, President or Power Select Solutions, LLC |  Since the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) went into effect in 2010, rates on the Health Exchanges operated by the federal government have risen dramatically. Many states have seen over 20 percent rate increases each year for over three consecutive years and several well-known carriers have stopped offering plans on the Exchanges completely. However, due to a recently signed Executive Order, there are some new lower cost alternatives that can make group health insurance more affordable for small businesses. Understanding ...
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October 29, 2018 | Partners In Preservation: Main Streets Awards $2 Million in Preservation Grants to Sites Reflecting America’s Diverse History |  Today, American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Main Street America announced the winners of the 2018 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign. The 11 winning historic sites will receive a total of $1.6 million in grants to fund their respective preservation projects. At the outset of the campaign, an additional $400,000 was allocated to the 20 Main Street communities that participated in the program to increase public awareness of the importance of these historic places and build ...
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October 25, 2018 | 2018 Community Transformation Workshop Recap |  During the Day 2 District Investigation, participants interview a local business owner in  MainStreet Cleveland, Tenn. Last week, over 40 Main Street professionals attended the 2018 Community Transformation Workshop in Chattanooga, Tennessee. An essential component of the Main Street America Institute, the three-day in-person workshop gives participants hands-on tools to enact revitalization projects in their communities, from making the case for the reuse of a single building to developing Transformation Strategies through the Main Street Approach. As with any gathering of Main Streeters, ...
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