Main Street Blog

Main Street Blog

May 16, 2022 | Announcing the 2022 Great American Main Street Award Winners | By: Alicia Gallo, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications | Main Street America is proud to recognize Heart of Biddeford in Biddeford, Maine; Hammond Downtown Development District in Hammond, Louisiana; and Laramie Main Street Alliance in Laramie, Wyoming as the 2022 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners. This prestigious award is the nation’s top award recognizing communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. The 2022 GAMSA designations, sponsored by The Hartford, were presented at the opening plenary ...
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May 16, 2022 | Announcing the 2021 Winners of the Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest | By: Liz Shenk, Manager of Marketing and Outreach In March, we asked Main Street America members to submit the innovative ways they celebrated Shop Small® during the holiday season as an American Express® Neighborhood Champion. From a city-wide scavenger hunt to a downtown dodgeball tournament, the winners of the Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest had some truly creative ideas for encouraging their communities to Shop Small! The entrant with the most innovative idea received $5,000, a second-place winner received $2,500, and three ...
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May 13, 2022 | Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator for Main Street America | May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! AAPI people live in, work in, and visit Main Street districts across the nation, and their cultures and history enrich our communities. This month, we are highlighting five Main Street districts with rich and fascinating AAPI populations and stories. We encourage you to visit them, or their virtual spaces, this month! Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with us on social media! Download our AAPI Month social media and website graphics ...
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May 11, 2022 | Main Spotlight: A New Report on the State of Housing | By: Michael Powe, Ph.D., Director of Research, and Emi Morita, Research Analyst | In cities big and small across the United States, concerns about the supply and cost of housing are widespread. Main Street communities are no exception. Housing challenges are clearly on the minds of Main Street practitioners. At the virtual Main Street Now conference last year, the topic of housing repeatedly emerged in a variety of sessions, and in a recent survey conducted by Main Street America, 87 percent of Main Street managers indicated concern about the state of housing in their Main Street districts. ...
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May 10, 2022 | By: Rebecca Rowe, Associate Director, Community Revitalization Office, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development | Paddleboarders on the James River, Richmond, Virginia. Courtesy of Riverside Outfitters. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’ s (DHCD) Virginia Main Street (VMS) program are 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! As you are building out your itinerary on the Conference App , make sure to also ...
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May 5, 2022 | Construya y mejore la presencia de su negocio online | By: Rachel Bowdon, Director of Communications at Main Street America | Main Street America, in partnership with GoDaddy, is proud to announce that our Main Street Online Tool is now available in Spanish! This dynamic tool, originally launched in the spring of 2021, guides small business owners through an assessment of their unique e-commerce needs and provides actionable steps to implement an effective online strategy. CHECK IT OUT > “We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of the Main Street Tool during National Small Business Week," stated Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Chief ...
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May 3, 2022 | By: John Accordino, PhD, FAICP, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Sarin Adhikari, PhD, Principal Data Manager at PlanRVA | The Perch at Magpie Co-Working Center in Main Street Harrisonburg, VA. Permission: Planning Practice and Research . 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! Learn more about ...
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May 3, 2022 | By: Rick Reinhard, Principal at Niagara Consulting Group | Polegreen Church. Photo courtesy Richmond Regional Tourism. 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! Learn more about this topic and hear from the author of this article by checking out his session at the conference: “New Roles for Old Houses of Worship on Main Street,” featuring an experienced ...
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May 3, 2022 | Leadership Transition Update | By: Darryl Young, Board Chair, Main Street America | Dear Main Street America Network, On behalf of the Main Street America Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce that Hannah White has been named as Main Street America’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. Hannah is currently Main Street America’s Managing Director, where she oversees the organization’s membership, fundraising, education functions, as well as the organization’s general operations. Hannah will serve as the Interim President & CEO beginning July 1, 2022, when Patrice Frey vacates the position, and will remain in the position ...
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April 28, 2022 | 75 Service Industry Small Businesses Awarded $5,000 Grants Through “Services That Back Us” Program | By: Liz Shenk, Manager of Marketing & Outreach at Main Street America Main Street America is pleased to announce the second round of recipients of the Services That Back Us Grant Program, presented by American Express to help underrepresented small business owners that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic recover and thrive. Grants of $5,000 have been awarded to 75 personal service industry businesses in older or historic commercial districts across the country, with preference given to businesses owned by underrepresented ...
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April 27, 2022 | Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | April is National Volunteer Month! Community volunteers are the heart of every Main Street program, and our work would not succeed without their dedicated and passionate contributions. Today, we are celebrating the outstanding work of three Main Street volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support their districts. Janet Fosque, Onancock Main Street (Virginia) Janet has volunteered with Onancock Main Street for over six years, including serving as president of the board and chair of the design committee. She worked ...
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April 27, 2022 | Welcome Fort Worth! | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | We are excited to announce that Fort Worth, Texas, is kicking off a new pilot program in partnership with Main Street America! Two pilot communities in Fort Worth will be selected to receive direct support from Main Street America and the city over a three-year time period. They will receive training to help their community produce a customized transformation strategy and actionable goals to help spark economic growth in their district. “Main Street America is pleased to expand its big city programming in collaboration with the City of Fort Worth ...
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April 26, 2022 | Health and Safety Measures at Main Street Now | By: Patrice Frey, President and CEO, Main Street America and Darryl Young, Board Chair, Main Street America | Dear Main Street Now Attendees, We are looking forward to seeing you in Richmond in a few weeks! Given all that we’ve been through these past two years, Main Street Now 2022 will be a celebration of our ability to persevere and give us an opportunity to recharge and refuel as we continue the important work of building strong Main Streets. We also know that many have lingering anxieties about travel and crowds, while others have moved on from measures like masking and social distancing. ...
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April 21, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | Main Street Skowhegan Executive Director Kristina Cannon cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of the Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship. Photo courtesy of Kristina Cannon. Last week, Main Street Skowhegan opened their new Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship , a downtown space for co-working, meeting, entrepreneurial support, trainings, and education. “The Center is for the community, business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, local youth, and anyone passing through who needs a place to co-work,” ...
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April 19, 2022 | Main Spotlight: People-Centered Funding for Main Streets in the New Economy | By: Chris Cain, Microfinance Program Manager at Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development | 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 is open here . Check out the conference website and follow conference's Facebook and Twitter ...
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April 15, 2022 | Volunteer Spotlight: Buffy Hughes | By: Kelli Yadon, Program Coordinator at Oklahoma Main Street | Buffy Hughes, on the far right, volunteering with Yukon 66 Main Street April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! Volunteers are the mainstay of any local program, and each one is locally driven by caring, concerned people. Most times, the volunteer base is pulled from the local community. Sometimes help can come from outside your local area – and maybe, if you are one of the lucky ones, your State Main Street coordinator and staff will help out when needed! One of the key components of any successful program is having a robust Volunteer ...
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April 12, 2022 | Main Spotlight: The Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations at Main Street America | In this moment of recovery and opportunity, the work of Main Street and business district organizations is essential to holistic community growth through place-based support for small businesses. Entrepreneurship rates persist at all-time highs, and newer reports suggest that those rates have been highest among communities of color. Spurring new business development, scaling home-based businesses to storefronts, and creating physical environments where businesses thrive are fundamental ...
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April 7, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Welcoming Parramore to Orlando Main Streets! | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America Commissioner Regina Hill, Natasha Gaye, Aminah Hamidullah (business owners and micro-grant recipient), Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Candice Simmons (Wells Fargo). Photo by Tyla Harrington, ViewHouse Production. Orlando Main Streets , a Coordinating Program with twelve districts in Orlando, Florida, welcomed their newest district, Parramore Main Street in February. Founded in the late 1800s, the Parramore area, along with the neighboring Callahan neighborhood, formed the heart of the city's black community in ...
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April 5, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Community Preservation in a Historically African-American Georgia Community | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | Ribbon Cutting for the Completion of the West Jackson Streetscape. Photo credit: City of Thomasville. In the early 20th century, the neighborhood made up of the 200 and 300 blocks of West Jackson Street in Thomasville, Georgia, known as The Bottom, was the heart of the African American community. In the rest of the city, segregation limited the establishments that black residents could visit, but The Bottom had everything they needed. “In The Bottom, we had our own theater there,” ...
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March 24, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Women Leaders Series - Week Four | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | Each week this Women's History Month, Main Street America is spotlighting the stories of women leaders in local and coordinating Main Street programs. Women have played a critical role in the Main Street movement from the beginning, and many programs today are led by thoughtful and dedicated women who are making real change in their communities. Although they come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, each of these women are passionate about community preservation and economic revitalization, and we hope ...
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