Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

February 25, 2020 | Using Storytelling to Grow Engagement and Reinforce the Value of Your Main Street Program | By: Brian Ostrovsky, Founder & CEO, Locable |  To capture the story of your Main Street's events and projects, like this Music in the Park event in Downtown Lee's Summit , Mo., start with a comprehensive digital content strategy. (Photo credit: Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street) When communicating about the efforts of your Main Street program, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just speaking in absolutes. Promoting ideas, mantras, taglines, and concepts like the Main Street Approach are powerful, but can be confusing for locals. While ...
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February 24, 2020 | We Are Main Street: Celebrating Youth |  Photo Credit: Wilkinsburg CDC & Greg Sciulli The March theme of the We Are Main Street campaign is YOUTH! Please be sure to join us in this month-long celebration by sharing the stories and initiatives of the young people who are making a difference in your downtown using #WeAreMainStreet. As part of the celebration, we will be hosting two opportunities for local programs during the month: Draw Your Main Street! (Open to ages 0-11) Bust out the crayons and markers! Draw a picture of what your Main Street looks like for a chance to be featured on our blog! During the month of ...
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February 24, 2020 | Your Next Shop Small Mission: Dining Small Small businesses are vital to Main Street year-round, and every corner café, taco truck, and pizza joint brings flavor and vibrancy to your downtown. As a loyal supporter of the Shop Small® Movement, we are excited to fill you in on a new opportunity to amplify the Shop Small message year-round. To help support small restaurants and communities everywhere, American Express has developed a new suite of Shop Small marketing materials designed specifically for small restaurants. The Main Street America network has been a key supporter of the Shop Small Movement since the beginning in 2010. Now, ...
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February 20, 2020 | Finding Your Place: How the Connecticut Annual Photo Display Brings Main Street to State Legislators | By: Christine Schilke, Marketing & Development Director, Connecticut Main Street Center |  There is lots to celebrate and admire in Connecticut’s downtowns and Main Streets. CMSC’s photo exhibit demonstrates the variety and vibrancy of its member communities. (Photo credit: Connecticut Main Street Center) How do you catch the eye of state legislators in a way that is both subtle yet overt, familiar yet fresh? At the Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC), we do this through our Celebrating CT’s Main Streets annual photo exhibit ...
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February 19, 2020 | Grant Opportunity: The 2020 AARP Community Challenge is On! | By: AARP Livable Communities The application period for the 2020 AARP Community Challenge is open! The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund "quick-action" projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Applications are being accepted for projects to improve housing, transportation, public space, technology ("smart cities"), civic engagement and more. Important Dates April 1, 2020: Applications are due by 11:59 pm (ET) May 26, 2020: Applicants will be notified of their status this week July 15, 2020: The selected ...
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February 13, 2020 | Community Spotlight: Celebrating Valentine's Day in the Heart of Town | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC From romantic dinners at a local favorite to beautiful bouquets from the corner florist, Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to get people into your downtown to shop, eat, and play. This year, we’ve gathered some innovative ideas from around the Main Street America Network that showcase districts using the holiday to show a little Main Street Love. From sweet events to smart programming, read on for some great examples of how to turn Valentine’s Day into a Downtown Valentine’s Day. San Marcos, Tex. The annual ...
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February 12, 2020 | Main Street Mayors: Civic Leaders Can Learn About Main Street Success Stories at Main Street Now Conference Sessions | By Andy Rhodes, Texas Historical Commission, Communications Division Main Street in Denison. 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, with the opening reception occurring the night of May 17. Get to know our host city, state, and Main Street communities through this special blog series. Conference registration is now open , with early ...
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February 6, 2020 | Main Street Now Conference: The Latest Details for Dallas | You asked, we listened... the Early Bird registration rate for the 2020 Main Street Now Conference has been extended! You now have until February 18 to secure the discounted rate of only $415 for members and $565 for non-members. Plus, head to the detailed conference schedule to check out education sessions, special events, and other opportunities to learn, explore, and celebrate 40 years of the Main Street Movement with us in Dallas. Keep reading for more conference updates! JOIN US IN DALLAS > Explore the Lone Star State The sunset over Denison, TX (Photo ...
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February 5, 2020 | Main Street America and Heritage Ohio Launch Ohio Entrepreneurs: Supporting Place-Based Small Business Development on Main Street  Main Street America (MSA) and Heritage Ohio are launching Ohio Entrepreneurs: Supporting Place-Based Small Business Development on Main Street , a new program focused on entrepreneurship in Main Streets in Appalachian Ohio. Ohio Entrepreneurs is made possible through generous support from PNC Foundation, the Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation, and the Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at the Brookings Institution. Over the next three years (2020-2022), MSA, Heritage Ohio, and other partners will help ...
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February 4, 2020 | The 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalists  Congratulations to the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalists! Boyne City Main Street (Boyne City, Michigan) Destination Congress Heights (Washington, DC) Main Street Denison (Denison, Texas) Evanston URA/Main Street (Evanston, Wyoming) Greater Ashmont Main Street (Boston, Massachusetts) Jefferson Matters: Main Street (Jefferson, Iowa) Kendall Whittier Main Street (Tulsa, Oklahoma) Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association (Tupelo, Mississippi) “The Great American Main Street Award is a top honor within the ...
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The Main Street Now Conference Schedule is Live! | January 29, 2019 Start planning your Main Street Now Conference experience. Check out the 2020 Mobile Event Guide for a detailed conference schedule, including hundreds of education sessions, plenaries, field sessions, and special events that will leave you feeling inspired. And don't forget--there is less than a week left to get $100 off your conference registration! Early bird rates end at 11:59pm ET next Monday, Feb. 3. REGISTER NOW > Registration Rates Early Bird (before Feb. 3): $415 Member | $565 Non-Member Regular: $515 Member | $665 Non-Member One Day: $325 Student: ...
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January 28, 2020 | Fighting Back Against Apathy: The Beatrice, NE, Approach to Defeating Negativity | By: Michael Sothan, Executive Director, Main Street Beatrice | Beatrice from the Sky.  Photo credit: Main Street Beatrice, NGage, and the Beatrice Area Chamber History, people, and the things we as a society find important: these are the forces that often shape a community’s story. In most cases, it is a story best shared by those who are personally familiar with that community—those who reside within and take pride in the place they call home. But what happens when a community no longer has widespread confidence in that story? When the conversation about ...
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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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