Blogs

Main Street Blog

February 13, 2019 | Why Historic Preservation Needs a New Approach | By Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center |  The Kimo Theater on historic Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Albuquerque was one of 16 New Mexico towns and cities to recently receive accreditation from the National Main Street Center setting up more possible funding for revitalizing downtowns. Russell Contreras/AP With new tools and financing methods, preservationists could save endangered spaces without alienating those who should share our cause. Here’s how we can adapt. One of the great surprises of the digital age is that quality of ...
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February 7, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Tennessee State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Panel Discussion |  Jill Burgin, Executive Director of the Main Street Program for the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County and Renee Kuhlman with the National Trust for Historic Preservation spoke about the need for a state historic tax credit in Franklin, Tennessee. Did you know that Tennessee is one of only 15 states that doesn't have a state historic preservation tax credit? Last month, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County , TN hosted   “America’s Heart is in Our Small Towns”: TN State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Panel Discussion ...
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February 6, 2019 | Main Street Now Conference: Special Events You Don't Want to Miss | Join your fellow commercial district revitalization professionals in Seattle for Main Street Now on March 25-27.  We will explore Main Street programs from the inside out, centering on the hard-work of the staff and board, transformative external partnerships, and the myriad of ways in which communities come together on Main Streets. With beautiful Seattle and its surrounding communities as our living laboratory, Main Street Now will leave you feeling inspired and equipped with solutions to help you in your work.  We encourage you to take advantage of the early-bird, ...
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February 5, 2019 | Marketing Your Main Street in the Digital Age | By Ron Cook,  distrx CEO and Co-founder Photo courtesy of Ron Cook As the great philosopher Bob Dylan reminds us: The times, they are a-changin’ . For Main Streets, that change comes in many forms – downtown revitalization, changing demographics, modes of transportation, and on and on. As we struggle to keep up, visitors to our communities are also changing. Today more than half the world’s population is under 30 years old. Changes in technology bring both opportunities and challenges, and the most dramatic change of all is the way we access and consume information. Last May I ...
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February 1, 2019 | The Main Street America Institute: Last Chance to Register for Advanced Principles of Sustainable Organization |  From your elevator pitch to your volunteer on-boarding, you are working with others every day to create a thriving downtown. To successfully support your downtown businesses, residents, and stakeholders, you need a strong organizational structure. Whether you are just getting off the ground or you are a GAMSA-winning community, join the Main Street America Institute’s Advanced Principles of Sustainable Organization to elevate your ability to: Communicate your organization’s mission and vision to stakeholders; Create ...
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January 31, 2019 | Historic Real Estate Finance Training: Part Two |  Participants gather for a tour of Downtown Decatur, Georgia, our host community for part two of the Historic Real Estate Finance training series. Last week, the Main Street America Institute (MSAI) hosted participants from across the country in Decatur, Georgia for part two of the Historic Real Estate Finance Training series. Building on the content and discussions generated in  Des Moines, Iowa in part one of the series , participants deepened their knowledge of structuring real estate deals using historic tax credits and other incentives. While the participants anxiously await ...
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January 30, 2019 | Powering Inclusive Economies: New Innovation Growth Network | By Dionne Baux,  Director of Urban Programs at the National Main Street Center | Photo credit: New Growth Innovation Network Happy New Year Readers, we hope you’ve enjoyed past issues of UrbanMain’s Neighborhood News and welcome you to join us in 2019 as we continue to analyze trends affecting urban districts across the country, highlight innovative solutions communities and cities are developing together, and celebrate the return of urban neighborhood commercial districts as economic drivers. Our urban districts create community wealth, provide inclusive areas for ...
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January 30, 2019 | Main Street Now Session Preview: Pocket Parks, New Third Places in Challenged Neighborhoods | Photo Credit: Tim McCollow 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. Make sure to check-out the line-up of sessions in our UrbanMain track , focusing on topics important to those working in neighborhood commercial districts in larger cities. In each issue of Neighborhood News , we’ll highlight one session to prepare ...
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January 29, 2019 | UrbanMain District Spotlight: South Shore, Chicago | By Tonya Trice,  Executive Director of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Inc.  The anchor of the community – the South Shore Cultural Center. Photo credit: South Shore Chamber of Commerce In November 2018, the National Main Street Center selected the  South Shore Chamber of Commerce  as its new neighborhood district for its Chicago UrbanMain program. The partner organization is receiving 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. ...
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January 29, 2019 | Made on Main: Supporting Innovative Community Transformation Projects |  Goldsboro, North Carolina was one of the seven communities selected to receive a Community Action Grant. In 2018, OneMain Financial and Main Street America (MSA) launched Made on Main Street, a grant program that provided seven $25,000 Community Action Grants for innovative, community impact projects led by inspirational local leaders. The program focused on Main Street member communities in seven states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. The 2018 Made on Main Street projects selected represent a variety of creative and ...
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January 24, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Monticello Bootcamp Program | For a while, Monticello, Illinois sought to find their place in the new development world. Sitting far enough (20 miles in each direction) from two major university communities, but the largest community in between, this county seat of around 5,700 is home to plenty of talent, multiple tourism destinations, and a beautiful downtown. But it still felt like it was missing something. While any downtown experiences a cyclical ebb and flow of commerce and investment, Monticello seemed to be experiencing a major lull. In 2014, several property ownership transitions led to multiple closures ...
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January 23, 2019 | Main Spotlight: Craft Beverages and Main Street in Washington State | By Logan Camporeale, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Board of Directors and Historic Preservation Specialist at City/County of Spokane | Photo courtesy of Visit Seattle In two months, 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. Register for the conference today to take advantage of the member rates and the new   special rate for civic leaders . Beer Ezra Meeker was the Hop King of the World. In 1852, Meeker ...
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January 16, 2019 | A Warm Welcome to Jenna Temkin, NMSC's Associate Manager of Marketing and Outreach | The National Main Street Center (NMSC) is excited to welcome Jenna Temkin to a new role in the organization as Associate Manager of Marketing and Outreach. In this position, Jenna will be supporting the Center’s efforts to raise Main Street’s profile and amplify the work of local Main Street programs across the country. In the short-term, she’ll be focused on helping with Main Street Now conference communications, the Great American Main Street Awards, and Main Street America Institute and Field Services marketing. Jenna comes to the NMSC with a strong ...
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January 16, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Ice Climbing on Main Street |  Photo credit: Benjamin Hake Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains is the tiny town of Lake City, Colorado. With more than 50 miles to the nearest town, this small Main Street community is implementing innovative strategies to keep their 400 year-round residents busy and to draw tourists to the area. The Lake City Ice Wall endeavor started a dozen years ago with a few hardy volunteers farming the ice. Free and open to the public, it is located by permission on public land and is adjacent to city limits and the Main Street boundary. The ice wall boasts 10-15 routes, 60-100 ...
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January 16, 2019 | 2019 Main Street Now Conference: The Mobile Event Guide is Now Live |  Join your fellow commercial district revitalization professionals in Seattle for Main Street Now on March 25-27.  We will explore Main Street programs from the inside out, centering on the hard-work of the staff and board, transformative external partnerships, and the myriad of ways in which communities come together on Main Streets. With beautiful Seattle and its surrounding communities as our living laboratory, Main Street Now will leave you feeling inspired and equipped with solutions to help you in your work.  We encourage you to take advantage of the early-bird, ...
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January 15, 2019 | Main Street America Program Relaunches in California |  LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA (January 15, 2019) – The California Main Street Alliance (CAMSA) and the National Main Street Center (NMSC) announce the relaunch of a statewide initiative to reinvigorate local economies and support historic downtowns in California through the network of Main Street America communities. The NMSC will provide administrative, technical, and training support to the CAMSA members effective January 11, 2019. These new services will enhance the support that had been available from the state of California for several decades and which has been eliminated due to state ...
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January 15, 2019 | Main Spotlight: Seeking Revitalization Rockstars |  Photo credit: Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street (IA) It’s a familiar scene and far too many of us have been there before…the monotonous monthly board meeting. Dress it up if you like, change the time, try a more relaxed setting, maybe even offer free food and drinks; but the boredom sets in just as fast. Listening to the same reports, noticing the same lack of attendance, hearing the same concerns with little to no action. Sound familiar? The road to revitalization apathy is paved with good intentions. When a Main Street organization is born, we set out with grand visions ...
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January 9, 2019 | Allied Member Spotlight: Traipse |  This week, we caught up with Main Street America Allied Member Traipse ,  a mobile app that allows you to explore cities, historic landmarks, and locally owned businesses while challenging your brain wit h fun puzzles and clues.   Name of your company? Traipse.  Fun fact: "Traipse" means to walk around casually without a specific direction, especially for pleasure. Number of years the business has been around? 3+ Where are you located? Staunton, Virginia What is the most rewarding aspect of working with Main Streets? We get to help bolster local economies while encouraging residents ...
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January 9, 2019 | The Main Street America Institute's Sustainable Organization Course is Coming Soon | The Main Street America Institute’s Advanced Principles of Sustainable Organization , a three-week, live online course, begins February 5. Join commercial district revitalization professionals from across the country to learn best practices in creating a volunteer-driven, sustainably-funded and community-supported program. How can participation help you? Read on for the recommendation of your colleague, Cathleen Edgerly, Director of Howell Main Street (MI), a 2018 GAMSA winner:   “Last year I took the Sustainable Organizations Course. As a community ...
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January 7, 2019 | A Year in Review: Main Street's Future is Strong |  As we enter the new year, I’ve been reflecting on the National Main Street Center's work in 2018 and the state of the field more broadly. I wanted to share these thoughts with you as a way to continue to build a dialogue around what’s working on Main Street, what we’re facing as a field, and where we’re going as a movement. When I take a step back, I’m struck by the gulf between the stories of decline and stark economic realities that dominate headlines on the one hand, and the optimism and sense of momentum I’ve witnessed in the work of Main Streets on the other. Looking back at what ...
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