Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

January 20, 2022 | UrbanMain Snapshots from Across the Country | By Dionne Baux, Vice President of Urban Development & Gustavo Ustariz, Senior Manager of Marketing & Outreach, UrbanMain  Dionne Baux, Vice President of Urban Development with the Danville, VA delegation in The Hatchery From offering peer-to-peer learning experiences in Milwaukee and Chicago to hosting e-commerce trainings, 2021 was a busy year for UrbanMain. Check out a sampling of some of the work and initiatives UrbanMain has undertaken in the last year below. Trainings and Technical Assistance Small Scale Development work in Charlotte, NC: The next phase ...
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January 20, 2022 | INVEST South/West Chicago Reaches Two-year Milestone | By Gustavo Ustariz, Senior Manager of Marketing & Outreach, UrbanMain | Left: Mayor Lori Lightfoot gives opening remarks at the INVEST South/West anniversary event in November 2021. Right: UrbanMain stakeholders gather at the anniversary event. From left to right: Kimberly Morris, VP of Real Estate and Inclusion, Chicago Neighborhood Initiative (Roseland/Pullman ISW Corridor Manager Partner); James Harbin, Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Development, City of Chicago; Melvin Wesley, AIA – 1st Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Development, City of Chicago; Dionne ...
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January 20, 2022 | Community Spotlight: FestivICE Connects York County Trail Towns | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator, MSA |  Sign outside FestivICE in York. Photo courtesy of Downtown Inc. This weekend, residents and visitors in York, PA, enjoyed a unique winter wonderland experience. For the eighth year, downtown York was filled with beautiful, detailed ice sculptures. FestivICE also featured an ice slide, a live reindeer, fire pits with smores, a DJ, and other fun attractions. Eleven tons of ice were required to bring the spectacle to life, artfully carved into 20 sculptures along Cherry Lane in York. Another 20 sculptures were featured ...
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January 20, 2022 | California’s UrbanMain Communities Prioritize Place-Keeping through Capacity-building & Infill Development Projects | By Alicia Gallo, Marketing & Communications Consultant, California Main Street | Aerial view of the grand opening of the Downtown Event Center in October 2021: people fill a large, open plaza dotted with booths and flanked with food trucks; new, 4-story mixed-use developments, trees, and gentle hills surround the plaza. Credit: City of Fremont. When we called on California’s UrbanMain communities to share their latest developments, we weren’t quite sure what the dispatches from the field would reveal. ...
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January 19, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Small-Scale Real Estate Projects Can Leverage Big Changes | By Courtney Mailey, Program Administrator, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development  A view of the sunset from Libby Hill Park in Richmond, Virginia. Courtesy of Visit Richmond. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Virginia Main Street (VMS) program is incredibly excited to co-host the 2022 Main Street Now Conference alongside Main Street America in Richmond, Virginia, May 16-18. Get to know our state, host city, and Main Street communities through this special blog series! Conference registration ...
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January 12, 2022 | 10 Predictions for 2022 | By: Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Main Street America |  Making predictions is always a risky proposition. Given the accelerated nature of change brought on by COVID-19, understanding trends in real-time and forecasting the impacts on the work of place management and small business development can be challenging. However, having some idea as to what to keep an eye out for and where to apply some additional focus represents a valuable pursuit given our time limitations and the volume of work inputs. As such, rather than position this purely as a set of predictions, I would suggest this collection ...
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January 6, 2022 | Community Spotlight: How Three New Mexico Main Street Communities Improved their Downtown Facades | By: Jessica Mraz, Communications and Promotions Specialist, New Mexico MainStreet |  From left to right: Gallup’s Coal Avenue Commons Ribbon Cutting in Gallup, NM; construction underway in Deming, NM; Daniel Gutierrez, Director of New Mexico MainStreet and Charmeine Wait, Executive Director of Silver City MainStreet in Silver City, NM. Photo courtesy of New Mexico MainStreet In March 2020, Main Street America announced four states (Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wyoming) were selected for the inaugural NPS Main Street ...
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January 5, 2022 | Main Spotlight: The Importance of Place | By: Ed McMahon, Chairman Emeritus of Main Street America and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute |  Farmers Market in Downtown Boise, Idaho. Photo credit: christiannafzger As we enter a new year, especially after the last 18 months, when many of us were forced to cancel trips to visit the places or people we hold dear, it is important to reflect on the role that place plays in our lives. We live in a world of rapid and often disorienting change: shifting demographics, new technologies, political polarization, instantaneous communication, changing consumer tastes, gentrification, ...
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December 17, 2021 | Top Blog Posts of 2021 | As 2021 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at some of our most popular blog posts from the past 12 months. Spanning a wide range of topics on everything from how to cultivate local entrepreneurship to guidance on fundraising, these articles deserve a second look. Blogs are listed in chronological order. Historically, whether it’s been traditional economic development or Main Street economic vitality efforts, business recruitment has been an area in which a great deal of our revitalization activities, resources, and capacity were largely allocated. But new research undertaken by Main ...
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December 16, 2021 | Announcing the Next Round of T-Mobile Hometown Grant Recipients | Community leaders and T-Mobile representatives gather to celebrate Los Alamos, NM receiving a T-Mobile Hometown Grant. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com.   Last week, T-Mobile revealed the names of 25 more American small towns that will receive Hometown Grants to jumpstart vital community projects. Created to help local communities move forward on projects that build on the strengths that have always made them great places to live and work, Hometown Grants are inspired by the unique sense of place and deep pride that is so much a part of every small ...
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Dec. 15, 2021 | Celebrating Community Resilience: A Preview of Main Street Now Conference Sessions | Carytown's "Mile of Style" in Richmond, Virginia. Credit: Visit Richmond We can’t wait to join you in Richmond, Virginia, for the 2022 Main Street Now Conference , held May 16-18, to share best practices, celebrate community resilience, and envision new opportunities as we emerge into a new economic future. Along with our partners at the Virginia Main Street Program, we’ll provide educational sessions in three key thematic areas, as well as perennial downtown and commercial district management topics guided by the Main Street Approach. With sessions ...
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December 2, 2021 | Main Spotlight: New Letter Urges Congress to Enhance the Historic Tax Credit | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations, Main Street America | Thank you to all the Main Street and preservation advocates who have spoken up to Congress about the importance of enhancements to the Historic Tax Credit . Yesterday, a coalition of preservation organizations led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation sent a letter  to Congressional leadership urging the inclusion of six provisions to enhance the Historic Tax Credit in the upcoming Build Back Better legislation. The letter garnered support from over 4,000 ...
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November 30, 2021 | Support the Main Street Movement this Giving Tuesday |  The thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up the Main Street America Movement play an essential role in supporting small businesses, maintaining quality of life, and restoring the vitality of commercial districts across the nation. On this Giving Tuesday, we ask you to support this important work. Support the national movement. Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 40 years. Across the country, thousands of communities have used the Main Street framework to transform ...
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November 23, 2021 | Oklahoma Main Street and Tribal Nations: Fostering Successful Partnerships | By: Jenna Temkin, Manager of Marketing & Outreach | Left: Governor Reggie W. Wassana (middle), Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe, Lt Governor Gib Miles (back), Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe, and County Court Clerk Marie Hurst (front), Canadian County, Oklahoma, volunteer at El Reno Main Street's Burger Day Festival. Photo courtesy of El Reno Main Street. Right: Okmulgee Main Street unveils street signs in the language of the Muscogee Nation downtown. Photo courtesy of Okmulgee Main Street. Oklahoma is home to the headquarters of nearly 40 federally recognized ...
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November 19, 2021 | Tips and Tricks to Help Make Your Small Business Saturday® a Success in 2021 | By: Jenna Temkin, Manager of Marketing and Outreach, Main Street America |  Oceanside residents lined the street at the Merry Makers Fair, a free, two-day holiday pop-up market, in 2019. Credit: Road West Photography Small Business Saturday® is just around the corner, and Neighborhood Champions across the country are gearing up to rally their communities around the small businesses at the heart of their downtowns. As many commercial districts continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, Main Street programs have pivoted their traditional Small Business Saturday ...
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November 17, 2021 | Main Street America Institute 2022 Course Calendar Now Available | Grow your Main Street revitalization toolbox and get guidance from experts in the field by registering for the Main Street America Institute's (MSAI) Advanced Principles courses . Register here to join us for live online courses offered throughout 2022. Save with our Advanced Principles package! Purchase all five courses by Jan. 10 to receive one course registration free. Visit our course catalog or email msai@savingplaces.org for more information. If purchasing courses individually, use your Main Street America Member discount at checkout. Sustainable Organization ...
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November 15, 2021 | Inclusive Grants for Small Businesses | As small businesses continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, many still need support keep their doors open. To back underrepresented small business owners as they navigate the pandemic and plan for long-term success and resilience, American Express is partnering with Main Street America to launch a $1.65M year-round grant program called Inclusive Backing.  More than 250 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded in four cycles over 12 months to small business owners in older or historic commercial districts across the country, with priority given to businesses that have been disproportionately ...
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November 9, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Behind the Ribbon Cutting - The Merwyn Building | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations, Main Street America |   Strong community partnerships were key to the success of the rehabilitation of the Merwyn building. Photo Credit: ADHDA How do those amazing Main Street rehabilitation projects happen? And what policies and public support make them happen? In the Behind the Ribbon Cutting series, we look at a project or businesses from concept to opening day to break down the partnerships and funding brought to bear and recognize how we can advocate for policies and resources for revitalization across ...
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November 4, 2021 | Community Spotlight: 'WonderFall' Business Decorating Contest Shines Autumnal Spotlight on Local Businesses | By: Mark Wicks, Community Development Director of Main Street Charles City |  The Rustic Corner was one of 11 participating businesses in the 2021 'WonderFall' storefront decorating contest. Photo courtesy of Main Street Charles City “When you pass by something day in and day out, you tend to forget about it if nothing changes,” said Mark Wicks, Community Development Director of Main Street Charles City in Charles City, Iowa. That's why the Design Committee of Main Street Charles City annually organizes 'WonderFall,' ...
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November 3, 2021 | Main Spotlight: Better Community Planning & Economic Development Series with Ed McMahon |  Earlier this year, Leverage NC , a partnership between North Carolina Main Street and the North Carolina League of Municipalities, hosted a four-part webinar series titled Better Community Planning & Economic Development led by Ed McMahon, Chair Emeritus of Main Street America and a leading national authority on land use policy and economic development. This series explored small town economic development and quality of life, how the pandemic has affected real estate and land use practices, asset-based economic development, and redeveloping ...
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