Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

March 5, 2021 | Community Spotlight: The Women Leading the Way Campaign in Brooksville Main Street | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC |  A collection of women featured in Brooksville Main Street's campaign to celebrate the impact and legacy of women. Photos courtesy of Brooksville Main Street March is Women’s History Month! Join us in this monthly celebration by sharing stories of the women who have impacted your commercial district and amplifying the women who are making history today. Get started today by downloading our sample social media graphics . Learn more about one Main Street program’s initiative celebrating women’s history ...
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March 4, 2021 | The Main Street Now 2021 Schedule Is Live! | With three days of immersive online content and networking opportunities, this year's conference will provide you with the tools you need to move forward and rebuild stronger, more equitable Main Streets. Hear from national thought leaders, like former ceo of Starbucks Howard Schultz, leading Main Street experts, and local practitioners on strategies for strengthening your organization, supporting your small businesses, and so much more.   Take advantage of early bird rates by March 22 - Register here . VIEW SCHEDULE Conference Highlights   While we won't ...
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February 17, 2021 |  Business Spotlight: Black Entrepreneurs Leading By Example in Chicago | By Gustavo Ustariz, NMSC Left and right: Iesha Malone of Rose Cafe interacts with customers. Center: The Ware Ranch Restaurant. Opening and running a small business is no small business. When you add a worldwide pandemic, lockdowns to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and an ensuing economic downturn, it becomes a battle for business survival. The health and economic challenges of the past 12 months have affected everyone, but for Black people in the United States these challenges have been exacerbated by tragic events that highlighted systemic racism and inequality. ...
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February 22, 2021 | Supporting Martin Luther King Boulevards in Neighborhood Commercial Districts | By Deshea Agee, Executive Director, Historic King Drive Business Improvement District (BID #8) | Artists paint a Black Lives Matter mural in the district. Photo courtesy of Historic King Drive BID. In remembrance and in honor of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr., over 900 streets in the United States were named after him. Most of the streets, including the one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were renamed in the first 25 years after Dr. King’s death. To this day, there are many opinions and stereotypes of MLK streets nationally. Many are located predominantly in ...
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February 18, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Celebrating the Blues in Ripley, MS | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | The Blues Alley features handcrafted guitar cutouts, benches, and murals of musicians who defined the local blues style. Photo credit: Ripley Main Street Association These days, Ripley, Mississippi, is all about the blues—the musical kind, that is. To celebrate their local blues heritage, Ripley Main Street Association has been transforming an abandoned alley in their commercial district into an inviting outdoor art gallery and social space. Dubbed the Blues Alley, the Main Street program plans to install murals of local ...
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February 16, 2021 | Rally Your Community to 'Order In, Help Out' | Now more than ever, the local restaurants that make our Main Streets thrive need our support. That’s why we’re thrilled to let you know about a new campaign from American Express designed to help rally communities around local restaurants, including dining establishments, coffee shops, bakeries, and all other eateries. The American Express Order In, Help Out campaign will encourage customers to support local establishments with takeout and delivery. According to the American Express Independent Restaurant Insight Study, 89% of small, independent restaurant owners say they depend on ...
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February 12, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Lunar New Year in Downtown SLO | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC Light Up Downtown in Downtown SLO is celebrating Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year. Photo credit: Downtown SLO Downtown SLO has kept the magic of their holiday lights installation alive by evolving their winter wonderland into a dual celebration of Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. The Light Up Downtown initiative began in late 2020, when this California Main Street program in San Luis Obispo transformed a permanent open street at the heart of downtown into a winter lights display. This passive activation ...
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February 11, 2021 | Pop-Up Retail: Not Just For Start-Ups, And Other Learnings From Its Evolution | By: Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, NMSC | Moonlight Makers is a pop-up gift market store in Asheville, North Carolina. Photo credit: Ablokhin A few months back, I listened in on several presentations from the 2020 Retail Innovation Conference. While much of the dialogue focused on post-COVID technology infusions into national retail stores and likely consumer shifts in shopping, one particularly unique perspective caught my attention. After a few minutes, it became quite obvious that pop-up programming, from a Main Street ...
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February 10, 2021 | Registration is Open for Main Street Now 2021! | Join us April 12-14 at the Main Street Now Conference for three days of immersive online content and networking opportunities. You’ll hear from national thought leaders, leading Main Street experts, and local practitioners on strategies for strengthening your organization, supporting your small businesses, telling your story, and so much more. Register today to take advantage of early bird rates! REGISTER HERE Schedule at a Glance Below is a broad overview of the conference schedule. A more detailed schedule will be forthcoming with session details and additional events ...
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February 4, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Black History Month Initiatives on Main Street | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC |  It's Black History Month! While this month is a time to honor the past, it is also a time to celebrate the history being made every day. Main Street programs around the Network have created engaging and COVID-safe ways to honor and celebrate the histories and lives of Black Americans in their commercial districts. Learn more about their initiatives below: History in the Making Series. The Richmond Main Street Initiative in Richmond, California, is putting its local Black-owned small businesses front and center ...
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February 3, 2021 | Last Chance! Register for Main Street America Institute Courses | Whether you're looking to solve difficult revitalization problems, improve your district design, or develop your leadership skills, the Main Street America Institute (MSAI) is here to help. Check out MSAI's latest virtual professional development offerings below and register today! Community Transformation Workshop February 18, 19, 25, and 26 | Live sessions from 10am – 2pm CT Offered online for the first time, this interactive workshop will provide participants with the tools and strategies to address complex revitalization projects and initiatives through the ...
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February 2, 2021 | Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas from the Chicago UrbanMain Online Market | From left to right: A vanilla collection from Cakewalk Chicago; a Bling Winter Kit from Jazzy Ladies Jewels Boutique; a candle from Beverly Dry Goods; and a wool cowl from Ri Ra Arts. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show our appreciation for a special person in our lives with a thoughtful gift. What if we can also use the holiday as an opportunity to show our appreciation and support for the small businesses, local merchants, and entrepreneurs in our community? By doing your Valentine’s Day shopping on the Chicago UrbanMain Online Market you can do just ...
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February 2, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Understanding Philanthropic Resources in Community Economic Development | By: Dionne Baux, Director of Urban Programs, NMSC |  Outdoor dining during COVID-19 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo credit: Bjorn Bakstad This article was published in the Fall 2020 edition of the Economic Development Journal, a publication available to members of the International Economic Development Council, and is being reprinted with its permission. To have access to IEDC's Journal articles and its many services, you can become a member by visiting https://www.iedconline.org . Local community economic development organizations rely ...
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February 1, 2021 | Celebrating Black History Month on Main Street | February is Black History Month! As we come out of 2020 newly aware of how the dual crises of COVID-19 and structural racism affect our work on Main Street, it is even more imperative that we take the time to celebrate the diversity of our communities and amplify local initiatives aimed at achieving greater equity in our commercial districts. Black History Month is a great time to refocus and reengage in that work. Please join us in honoring this month-long celebration by highlighting local stories of Black history in your community and amplifying Black-owned small businesses in your ...
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January 29, 2021 | Join us for Main Street Now 2021 Online! | The Main Street Now Conference brings together thousands of local leaders from across the country – and the world – who share a commitment to building vibrancy and economic opportunity in downtowns and commercial districts. With three days of immersive online content and networking opportunities, Main Street Now 2021 will give us the opportunity to reflect on how the events of the past year have changed our work and how we can rebuild stronger, more equitable Main Streets for the future. What You'll Learn Main Street Now 2021 will focus its programming around three themes: Recovery ...
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January 29, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Love Letters for Local in Frederick, Maryland | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC Photo credit: Downtown Frederick Partnership Every month is a great month to show a little bit of love for our commercial district’s small businesses, but Downtown Frederick Partnership is taking it to the next level. Earlier this week, they declared February “LOVE LOCAL” Month in Downtown Frederick. In addition to encouraging local shopping throughout the month, this Maryland Main Street program is calling on their community to show their love for local through a Valentine’s Day classic: love letters. Running ...
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January 27, 2021 | New Survey for Small Businesses! A Note from NMSC's Research Team | Our January SMS survey of small business owners has been live for about 24 hours, and we’ve currently received about 200 completed surveys. Could we get to 500? 1,000? If you haven’t already, please consider sharing information about the survey with small businesses in your community. I’ve copied a couple sample messages and linked to a few social graphics for your use below. Our January survey includes four quick multiple-choice questions, so there is fairly minimal demand required of time and attention. This month, we're asking about business owners' plans with the ...
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January 26, 2021 | New! Main Street Resiliency Grant Program |  Main Street programs have demonstrated time and time again over this past year how essential they are to the health and vitality of their local communities. You’ve not only supported your small businesses, but also developed innovative strategies to leverage local investment, establish new partnerships, and cultivate entrepreneurship. We’ve been so inspired by the creativity, experimentation, and entrepreneurial thinking that Main Street leaders have used to address both immediate needs and position their communities to have a successful recovery. Yet, we know that the road ahead remains unknown ...
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January 25, 2021 | Coping with the COVID Crisis in the Midst of the Holiday Rush: Nine Takeaways from Our December Surveys of Small Business Owners and Main Street Programs | By: Michael Powe, Ph.D., Director of Research, NMSC |  Photo credit: Cindy Shebley In early December, as the COVID-19 crisis intersected with a peak moment in the holiday shopping season, we surveyed small business owners and Main Street programs to learn more about how they were managing. You can read a full overview of our methods and findings here and you can explore the data based on state or coordinating program in the interactive map at the bottom of this post. Here ...
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January 22, 2021 | New Community Vitality Series Designed to Bolster Main Street Programs |  Downtown Lexington, Virginia. Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) As we explored in our COVID-19 Trends Blog Series , the “work from home” revolution is just getting started, causing people to reevaluate where they call home . In response, our partners at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) have launched the 2021 Creating Community Vitality (CCV) Series to explore the unique opportunity that communities across the country have to retain and attract an increasingly mobile workforce, ...
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