Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

August 9, 2022 | Main Spotlight: How Farmers Markets Can Activate Main Streets | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America Collage of fresh produce and a vendor booth from Market on Main. Photos courtesy of Stuart Main Street. August 7-13, 2022 is National Farmers Market Week! From farm-fresh veggies to artisanal delicacies, in communities of all sizes, farmers markets are beloved across the country. Many Main Street programs host farmers markets in their districts to bring in revenue, connect with local businesses, reduce food deserts, and increase foot traffic. We spoke to Main Street directors about their farmers markets ...
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August 4, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Friendly City Fortune in Downtown Harrisonburg | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | Raffle staff at Friendly City Fortune in Downtown Harrisonburg. Photo courtesy of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. Named Best Fundraiser by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Friendly City Fortune is Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s (HDR) biggest fundraising event. Each summer, HDR raffles off $250,000 in cash and prizes to 54 lucky winners from the local community. The funds support HDR’s work to make Harrisonburg a destination for locals and visitors. HDR ...
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August 2, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Catalyzing Upper Floor Housing with the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program | By: Emily Kurash Casey, Director of Community Programs at Rethos | Interior upper floor in Red Wing, MN. Photo by Megan Tsui. The quantity and quality of housing in Main Street districts has become an increasingly important focus point for many programs. Research conducted by Main Street America and funded by the 1772 Foundation has found that 75% of Main Street managers feel that there is not enough housing to accommodate everyone who wants to live in their district. Established development models often are not well-suited to ...
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July 27, 2022 | Letter from the President: Our New Strategic Plan | By: Hannah White, Interim President and CEO, Main Street America | Dear Main Street America Network, I am excited to share with you Main Street America’s new strategic plan . This is the result of months of hard work, listening, conversation, co-creation, and wrestling with big, exciting, difficult ideas. The result is a plan I’m immensely proud of – one that leverages our strengths and will push us to grow and stretch in new ways. From its beginnings as a pilot project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to the coast-to-coast forward-looking movement it is today, the Main ...
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July 25, 2022 | 2023 Main Street Now Conference Call for Proposals | Downtown Crossing in Boston, Massachusetts. Submit a session proposal for our 2023 Main Street Now Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, March 27-29. Start planning your session now to share your brilliant ideas by the submission deadline on September 6, 2022! Along with our partners at the Boston Main Streets, we invite proposals for educational sessions on perennial downtown and commercial district management topics guided by the Main Street Approach , as well as in three thematic areas: Building Community Connections Community Wealth Building & Shared Prosperity ...
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July 21, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Main Street Programs Receive AARP Community Challenge Grants | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator for Main Street America | Rendering of corner at New Street and Center Street in downtown Metuchen. Photo courtesy of Downtown Metuchen Alliance. The AARP Community Challenge program gives out quick-action grants to activate public spaces and build momentum for local change. This program is a great opportunity for many Main Streets, and this year, eight Main Street programs were awarded grants. Here are some of their projects. Downtown Boise Association (Idaho) DTPlays is an electric cargo bike that ...
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July 19, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Local Development and the Future of Retail with the OECD | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator for Main Street America | Mercado in Kendall Whittier Main Street, Oklahoma. Last week, Norma Ramirez de Meiss, Vice President of Revitalization Services at Main Street America, joined a panel of local development leaders from around the world to discuss the future of small and medium scale retail. The panel included Sydney Alison, Community Engagement Manager at Kendall Whittier Main Street , a 2020 GAMSA winner. The conversation was hosted by the OECD Local Development Forum , an international network of local development ...
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July 15, 2022 | Meta Boost Small Business Studios Offer Interactive, In-Person Support to Business Owners | By: Liz Shenk, Manager of Marketing and Outreach We’re partnering with Meta Boost and their Small Business Studios to help local businesses get the training they need to take their digital marketing to the next level. Through workshops, 1:1 marketing support, and expert speakers, business owners will learn how to create stronger content to help grow their businesses. Here’s just a taste of what you can expect from these interactive experiences: Learn: Whether you’re looking to get more technical advice or just want to create stronger content, ...
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July 14, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Entrepreneur Story Time with Silver City MainStreet | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator for Main Street America | Andy Sr. and Andy Jr. from the Jerky Store & More present at the first KAE Entrepreneur Story Time. Photo courtesy of Silver City MainStreet. Silver City MainStreet in Silver City, New Mexico, hosted their first ever Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs (KAE) Story Time events in June and July. Featuring local business owners from Grant County, the events offer an opportunity for the community to learn the successes and challenges of starting a small business. “KAE features storytellers who hail from ...
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July 12, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Is the Historic Tax Credit program a good opportunity for your Main Street? | By: Gustavo Ustariz, Senior Manager, Marketing & Outreach, UrbanMain Program at Main Street America | The Historic Tax Credit has preserved more than 44,000 historic buildings over the life of the program. Photo by Troy Thies. Main Street America’s place-based economic development framework centers a commercial corridor’s assets, including the local culture and historic buildings, as a pilar of the revitalization process. Maintaining, restoring, and reusing old and historic buildings can be an expensive and complicated undertaking. Diverse ...
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July 11, 2022 | Date Change: 2022 Historic Real Estate Finance Certification Series | The Main Street America Institute, with the generous support of The 1772 Foundation, is pleased to offer the National Development Council’s Historic Real Estate Finance Certification series to Main Street professionals who are interested in deepening their knowledge of and participation in real estate development transactions, particularly in the utilization of Historic Tax Credits. Successful redevelopment of historic properties requires specific skills: knowledge of the process, understanding of the various incentives available, and an ability to pull all the pieces ...
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July 7, 2022 | Illinois Main Street Update | Joi Cuartero Austin, who currently serves as MSA’s Senior Program Officer and Director of Illinois Main Street, will be transitioning to the role of Senior Program Officer for Economic Vitality. In her new role, she will primarily be responsible for providing comprehensive revitalization technical services related to Economic Vitality for coordinating programs, commercial districts, and other partners across the country. This transition will leverage her strong background and experience in economic vitality as an entrepreneur/small business owner, property owner, and small-scale developer, and her ability to connect ...
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July 7, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Paso Robles Honors Norma Moye with Renamed Alley and Custom Arch | By: Alicia Gallo, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications at Main Street America | Left: Norma Moye; credit: Paso Robles Historical Society. Right: Norma’s Alley arch; credit: Paso Robles Press. This article was originally published by California Main Street here > Main Street executive directors make innumerable marks on the communities that they serve, many oftentimes unseen by the general public. Longtime Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association executive director, Norma Moyes, is no exception. Now, thanks to the efforts of local ...
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July 5, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Nine Years at Main Street - Lessons and Reflections | By: Patrice Frey, President and CEO, Main Street America | At the Opening Plenary at the Main Street Now Conference in Richmond, Virginia, Patrice Frey shared lessons and reflections from her past nine years at Main Street. Today, we are pleased to share a written version of her speech that offers up additional words of advice and wisdom on how Main Streets can chart a prosperous path ahead. Please join us in thanking Patrice for her years of service as our President and CEO! If you haven’t already, please view her parting words to the Network here . Main Street *Is* ...
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July 5, 2022 | Farewell from Patrice | By: Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America | Dear Main Street Partners and Friends, Well, that time has come. With great fondness for the Main Street America Network and all of our important work, I hand the baton to our very talented Hannah White, who is our new Interim President & CEO while a national search for a successor CEO is conducted. If you were in Richmond at the Opening Plenary, you know that Hannah has served in a variety of roles at MSA, most recently as our extraordinarily talented Managing Director. MSA is excellent hands under her leadership. I want to thank each and every one ...
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June 30, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Main Street Celebrates Pride Month | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | NWPA Pride Alliance Pridefest and Parade in downtown Erie. Photo credit: Dave Tamulonis, Events Manager at Erie Downtown Partnership. Erie Downtown Partnership Erie Pridefest and Parade was hosted by the NWPA Pride Alliance in downtown Erie. The Main Street program assisted with event promotion. This was the first Pride event since COVID cancelled the 2020 event. The parade saw about 5,000 attendees from all over the region march in a mile-long parade from The Zone Dance Club on 18th Street to Downtown ...
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June 29, 2022 | Now Enrolling: 2022 Community Transformation Workshop | Join Main Street America experts in Laramie, Wyoming – a 2022 Great American Main Street Award recipient – to gain first-hand experience in harnessing transformation strategies to successfully revitalize your Main Street! An essential component of the Main Street America Institute curriculum, the Community Transformation Workshop is an intensive and interactive three-day experience filled with educational sessions and exercises aimed to provide participants with advanced tools and strategies to address complex revitalization projects and initiatives. Details When: September ...
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June 28, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Community Preservation in the Modern South | By: Lisa Fareed, Stockbridge Main Street Program Coordinator, and Kira Harris-Braggs, Stockbridge Main Street Program Manager | Unveiling of a mural in downtown Stockbridge. Photo courtesy of Stockbridge Main Street. The other Martin Luther King Today, the little-known story of Martin Luther King Jr’s father is being explored in a small town in Georgia. Before they became public figures, the Kings lived in the small rural township of Stockbridge, twenty miles south of Atlanta. That is where Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., sometimes known as Daddy King, preached his first sermon ...
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June 22, 2022 | Now Accepting Applications: 2023 Great American Main Street Award! | Each year, Main Street America recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization with the Great American Main Street Award. Since the award’s inception in 1995, over 100 Main Street programs have been honored. Will YOUR community be next? Eligibility: All Accredited Main Street America programs, with an active Main Street membership and that have not previously won. Application: Candidates must submit a complete application through the online portal and application ...
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June 21, 2022 | Opportunity Appalachia Announces 34 Community Investment Projects in Central Appalachia | By: Liz Shenk, Manager of Marketing & Outreach Appalachian Community Capital announced earlier this month a selection of 34 projects to participate in a program to bring jobs, business support, and investment to Central Appalachia as part of their Opportunity Appalachia program. The selected projects propose to create over 1,700 jobs and attract over $177 million in financing to develop manufacturing facilities; downtown development; community centers; health, wellness, and childcare centers; food and agricultural facilities; hotels; and ...
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