Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

June 12, 2019 | Community Spotlight | Uptown Main Street “Heart Bombs” the Legendary ClubHouse DC | Photo credit: Uptown Main Street On June 8, Uptown Main Street honored the ClubHouse DC , one of Washington DC's earliest gay-oriented social clubs. Community members, fans of the nightclub, historic preservation advocates, and champions for preservation of DC’s cultural heritage gathered at the location to spread awareness and love for the building and its legacy. "Heart Bombing," an inspiration of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the act of showering a historic place with visible expressions of affection and devotion to help spur efforts ...
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June 12, 2019 | Commercial District Leaders: Join Chicago UrbanMain for an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Workshop | Commercial district leaders! Join Chicago UrbanMain for a free, full-day workshop on creating and sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystems. Friday, July 26, 2019 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CDT  Open to all Chicago-area commercial district leaders, this workshop will provide an in-depth look at the tools, organization and partnerships needed to lead a strategy-driven effort to support entrepreneurs in your district. Led by National Main Street Center’s Vice President of Revitalization Programs, Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., and Director of UrbanMain, Dionne ...
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June 11, 2019 | National Main Street Center Selects City of Kingsville for Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund | Photo credit: City of Kingsville The City of Kingsville has been selected to participate in the Texas Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund, administered by the National Main Street Center (NMSC) and made possible by generous support from The 1772 Foundation, Inc . Over the next three years, this revolving fund will issue $70,000 in zero percent interest loans to three to four competitively selected Texas Main Street communities to support highly visible improvements to commercial buildings and storefronts. NMSC launched ...
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June 10, 2019 | Share Your Story: Guest Blog for Main Street America | Do you have a story to tell about the transformation of your Main Street district or have tools and strategies to share with Main Street leaders on how to lead a more effective revitalization effort? We want to hear from you! Main Street America has a daily blog that we use as a platform to share stories from around the network, provide unique perspectives on industry trends and thought leadership, and offer resources to help commercial district practitioners build stronger communities. Carefully read the general guidelines for guest blogging below and craft your proposal today! ...
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June 6, 2019 | New Facade Improvement Fund Established to Transform Main Street in Nampa, Idaho | The National Main Street Center, in partnership with the City of Nampa, Idaho, the National Trust for Historic Preservation , and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation announced the launch of the Kevin and Mary Daniels Fund to help realize the city’s goal of bringing new vitality and activity to downtown Nampa. The fund is a tribute to all that Kevin and Mary Daniels have done for America’s cultural heritage. The National Main Street Center will administer the fund, which to date has raised $100,000 from Main Street board members, colleagues, ...
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June 6, 2019 | Staff Spotlight: Matt Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs | We’re kicking off the National Main Street Center Staff Spotlight series with our globe-trotting Vice President of Revitalization Programs Matt Wagner. Matt regularly travels for work (and, surprisingly, for fun), and flew more than 74,000 miles last year—that’s the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe nearly three times! You can check out Matt’s full bio here , and read on to find out what Matt has been up to in Main Street communities, hear his thoughts on the future of the Main Street movement, and learn his number one tip for travelers. Matt poses ...
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June 5, 2019 | Main Spotlight | The Great American Main Street Award: Get Inspired and Apply for GAMSA 2020 | The 2019 Great American Main Street Award winners were announced at the Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington. Left to right: Mary Thompson, NMSC Board Member; Jake Dougherty Executive Director of Wheeling Heritage (WV);  Blake Opal-Wahoske, Executive Director of  Wausau River District (WI); Ann Griffin, Executive Director of Alberta Main Street (Portland, OR); and Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes ...
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June 3, 2019 | Creating Development-Ready Communities | By Ben Levenger, President of Downtown Redevelopment Services | Example of development-ready building: Helper, UT – September 2018 A downtown is a collection of inanimate objects—specifically, buildings, businesses, and circulation systems—all provided to convey the public to a central location within the community. What is often forgotten is that a downtown is only as strong as the merchants, tenants, and services that support the local community, each of which is a critical piece in the overall “fabric” for the civic space that is downtown. It is this simple. Yet it is a realization that continues ...
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May 30, 2019 | Allied Member Spotlight: Jon Stover and Associates | This week, we caught up with  Jon Stover & Associates, an economic development consulting firm.  JS&A works with public, private, and nonprofit organizations to bridge the gap between b usiness, local government, nonprofits, and the community. At the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, JS&A presented and shared  strategies for building local retail resiliency. Number of years the business has been around?  Nine years and counting! Where are you located?   Washington, D.C. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with Main Streets? Main Streets ...
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May 30, 2019 | Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association Selected for Economic Development Program | The National Main Street Center announced it has selected the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association (MPBHBA) to participate in its Chicago UrbanMain program. The MPBHBA will receive technical assistance and capacity building to foster community-driven economic development in the Beverly/ Morgan Park neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago. This work is made possible by generous support from Groupon. UrbanMain , a program of the National Main Street Center, is designed to help restore economic vitality and promote quality of life for ...
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May 29, 2019 |  Main Spotlight | Need More Retail in Your District? Share Space to Spur Startups | By Becky McCray It’s common to see local art in coffee shops, like Common Grounds in Avon, Minnesota. Why not extend this idea to all the businesses in your Main Street district? Photo by Deb Brown Need more retail activity in your Main Street? Shared spaces offer a quick solution to the most common barriers: not enough usable buildings, not enough going on, not enough vacancies or not enough potential retailers. Need more retail activity in your Main Street? Shared spaces offer a quick solution to the most common barriers: not enough usable buildings, ...
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May 28, 2019 | Applications are Now Open for the 2020 Great American Main Street Award | Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners represent the best and brightest in preservation-based commercial district revitalization across the country. Don’t miss the chance to be celebrated as one of the nation’s top Main Street communities, and submit your application for the 2020 GAMSA by Tuesday, July 9 (midnight CST). All Accredited Main Street America programs, that have not previously won, are eligible to apply. APPLY NOW Each year, GAMSA recognizes communities that exemplify the power of the Main Street Approach. Winners are selected from ...
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May 22, 2019 | Community Spotlight | Cambridge Main Street Unveils 'Green Parking Lot' |  Photo credit: Cambridge Main Street Last month, Downtown Cambridge in Maryland hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate their second green infrastructure initiative in the past year . The community welcomed a brand new, environmentally friendly green parking lot that was once home to a blighted, vacant lot.  The property was once an empty lot and the former site of a car wash, with the building pad and broken concrete left behind. The grounds, dangerous and unsightly, were frequently occupied by the church, Community Garden, thrift store, and the neighboring Women's ...
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May 22, 2019 | Main Spotlight: What’s In Your Backpack? South Carolina Releases Economic Incentives Toolkit | By Jenny Boulware, Main Street South Carolina | The Western Auto building (1940) and the Rose-Talbert building (1914) were renovated together in 2018. Hotel Trundle was designed by BOUDREAUX, in association with POND interiors. The Hotel occupies both floors and features 41 rooms. Before photo by Roger Lewis. After photo by BOUDREAUX One of the primary goals of all Main Street Programs is to increase the value of downtown by improving its commercial environment while encouraging historic preservation. Improving the local commercial economy is often ...
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May 17, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Alton, Illinois Hosts 'Small Town — Big World’ Event Maeva's Coffee Shop offered a variety of Argentinian street food and an authentic brunch experience complimented by dancing from the Colombian Folkloric Group. Photo credit: Alton Main Street  On Saturday, May 4th, Alton Main Street presented its third annual cultural celebration called “Small Town – Big World.” The day showcased a variety of activities which represented their wonderfully diverse community in many establishments across downtown. The event is a homegrown effort with members of the public contributing elements of ethnic cuisine, traditional clothing, ...
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May 14, 2019 | Main Spotlight: Holy Cow...We Just Started an Ice Cream Shop | By Rob Biggs, Executive Director of Saco Main Street Photo credit: Aaron Scott As Forrest Gump once quoted: “ My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. ’” Or maybe that was ice cream! Saco Main Street, located in a small coastal community in southern Maine, wasn’t planning on getting into the ice cream business. That quickly changed when the owners of a local seasonal ice cream shop retired and decided to donate their equipment to the Main Street program. Owners Jan and Don McGarva were grateful for what the Main Street ...
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May 9, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Historic Downtown Monroeville, the Literary Capital of Alabama  Born in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee wrote the 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Bronze sculpture created by Hannah Lincoln. Last month, the citizens of Monroeville unveiled a public art project that celebrates the community's impact on American literary culture. The Literary Capital Sculpture Trail consists of 14 bronze sculptures on permanent exhibit in Historic Downtown Monroeville honoring the 10 writers credited with making Monroeville/ Monroe County the Literary Capital of Alabama. This trail will help ...
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May 8, 2019 | Last chance: Advanced Principles of Quality Design Begins Next Week Tackling design issues in your commercial district requires specific knowledge of the tools, resources, and process available. From façade improvements to accessibility, good design begins with community input. Take the next step to organize your knowledge and stakeholders to create impact in your downtown’s appearance. Join the National Main Street Center’s Lindsey Wallace for the Main Street America Institute course Advanced Principles of Quality Design to take a holistic look at all of the elements that shape district design. Online classes begin on Tuesday, May 14 – ...
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May 7, 2019 | Main Spotlight: The Importance of Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems | By Dell Gines, Sr. Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City  Shaw Main Streets. Photo credit: Pleasant P. Mann What can be done to improve income and wealth in communities of color? Prioritizing inclusivity in the development of entrepreneurship ecosystems can provide part of the answer. In this week’s Main Spotlight, Dell Gines, Sr. Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, takes a look at the importance of entrepreneurship in our national and local economies, delves into the emerging focus of inclusive ...
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May 6, 2019 | Announcing the Main Street Advocacy Toolkit  Photo credit: Heritage Ohio Champion the movement with these resources and share your story! The Main Street movement is on the cusp of celebrating 40 years of transforming downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts through the Main Street Approach coupled with dynamic leadership from across the network. To sustain the remarkable success of the movement, Main Street leaders must continue to communicate the value and impact of investment in the program and successfully navigate a hierarchy of policies governing how revitalization works, from local ordinances to national incentives. ...
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