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Main Street Blog

November 30, 2022 | Making the Pitch: Relationship-Building for Government Advocacy | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations at Main Street America | Did you hear? There was just a big election, and many new lawmakers and other elected officials are taking on new roles, which may include decisions on funding and policies that effect your work. Main Street programs regularly interact with decision-makers in councils, legislatures, and agencies cultivating strong, bi-partisan support for downtowns and commercial districts. Whether you are planning an advocacy effort in 2023 or want to lay the groundwork for continued support, right now is ...
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November 30, 2022 | Now Accepting Nominations: 2023 Mary Means Leadership Award! | The success of a Main Street program depends upon the vision and determination of local leaders committed to community-led transformation. To celebrate these extraordinary individuals and to recognize the outstanding leadership of Main Street America’s founder, Main Street America recognizes exceptional leaders with the Mary Means Leadership Award. Will YOUR community’s executive director, Coordinating staff member, or super volunteer be next? Eligibility: The nominee must be currently employed by or volunteering (including Board Members) with a local Main Street program ...
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November 29, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Convening in a City of Main Streets: A Preview of the 2023 Main Street Now Conference Sessions | Faneuil Hall Quincy Market. Courtesy of iStock. We can’t wait to join you in Boston, Massachusetts, for the 2023 Main Street Now Conference, from March 27-29, for this convening of commercial district revitalization leaders from across the country in this city of Main Street! Along with our partners at the City of Boston’s Office of Economic Opportunity & Inclusion and Boston Main Streets, we look forward to providing three days of dynamic educational sessions, invigorating keynote discussions, and immersive mobile ...
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November 28, 2022 | Digital Commerce is Changing Main Streets... Could It Be For The Better? | By: Matthew Wagner, Chief Program Officer at Main Street America | The full version of this article is published on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blog, Cogito. The OECD Cogito blog features insights on entrepreneurship, SMEs, tourism, and cities. Click here to read the full story. The past two-and-a-half years have represented one of the most challenging times for Main Street businesses across the US. The global pandemic transformed the way we work and shop. While many businesses were able to weather the storm ...
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November 21, 2022 | Building Community and Bridging Cultural Divides Through Pow Wow Traditions in Sheridan, Wyoming | By: Zoila Perry, Executive Director at Downtown Sheridan Association Tribal members of the Crow Nation perform traditional ceremonial dances to celebrate and share their heritage at the First People’s Pow Wow in Sheridan, Wyoming. Courtesy of Carter Wells, DYT Creative Marketing Solutions. As far back as 1953, Sheridan, Wyoming was host to All American Indian days, which highlighted the Miss Indian America Pageant and included contestants from all areas of the United States. These events came at a critical time in our country’s history, ...
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November 17, 2022 | Community Spotlight: A New Program for New Businesses | By: Lindsey Newland, Marketing and Business Specialist at Main Street Ottumwa | Lindsey Newland teaching a class about how to use Facebook. Photo courtesy of Main Street Ottumwa. After completing the Ready to Recruit program in November of 2021, it became clear that Main Street Ottumwa had work to do to fill vacancies and support entrepreneurship. Could a single course be the solution? Freddie Killough from the Marion Business Association in Marion, NC sure seemed to think so. His ‘Growing Your Own Entrepreneurs’ presentation at the 2022 Main Street Now Conference was exactly ...
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November 15, 2022 | Main Spotlight: How to Build a Meaningful End-of-Year Fundraising Initiative | By: Hannah Davis, Development Manager at Downtown Florence | Photo courtesy of Downtown Florence. End-of-year fundraising is a great tool, if planned appropriately, to bolster year-end programs, fill year-end gaps, or even create a contingency cushion for next year’s budget. Downtown Florence , an Accredited Main Street Program in South Carolina and 2023 GAMSA Semifinalist , took on a unique end of year campaign specifically designed to fill a holiday community demand and fund a popular downtown business program sustainably. Many years ago, a local civic ...
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November 10, 2022 | Community Spotlight: How an Iowa Community Turned Grain Bins into Art | By: Katie Mason, Main Street Coon Rapids Executive Director | Naturally Iowa Grain Bin Gateway dedication ceremony. Photo courtesy of Main Street Coon Rapids. The Naturally Iowa Grain Bin Gateway project is a 360-degree mural commissioned on the side of two grain bins located at the entrance to Coon Rapids downtown at the corner of Highway Street and Sixth Avenue. After many years of work, the new mural is a wonderful success, bringing a sense of place to a longstanding feature of the community. Read on to learn how Main Street Coon Rapids completed this innovative ...
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November 9, 2022 | Shop Local Marketing Made Easy: A Resource Roundup for Main Street Leaders & Small Business Owners | Oceanside, Calif., residents explore local shops while participating in Sip & Shop Downtown Oceanside on Small Business Saturday 2021. Credit: Road West Photography. The countdown to Small Business Saturday® on November 26 has begun and for some communities the holiday shopping season is already underway. For Main Street leaders to small business owners alike, this time of year is full of possibilities, excitement, and good cheer. Even so, creating opportunities to welcome visitors downtown and into stores—in-person or online—can ...
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November 9, 2022 | It's Here: The 2023 Main Street America Institute Course Calendar is Live! | The Main Street America Institute 2023 Course Calendar is now available. Learn more about MSAI and register here > Start Planning for your 2023 Professional Development Schedule Now We are excited to announce that the Main Street America Institute (MSAI) 2023 Course Calendar is now live and registration is open! Invest in your career and community by growing your Main Street revitalization toolbox through MSAI courses and workshops. Get a jumpstart on your professional development goals in the upcoming year by registering for our live online Advanced ...
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November 2, 2022 | National Native American Heritage Month on Main Street | November is National Native American Heritage Month! This month offers many opportunities to reflect on the harm that has been inflicted on Native nations throughout out history, but it is also a time to celebrate the resiliency and vibrancy of the cultures who survive today. We encourage you to show your support for Native communities locally and nationally this month. We have created a set of social media graphics to help you celebrate National Native American Heritage Month online; you can download them here > We would love to see how your community is celebrating ...
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November 8, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Merch on Main Street | By: Zac Alfson, Executive Director at The Milk District | Examples of Milk District products. Photos courtesy of The Milk District. Great merchandising and branding are powerful tools to build civic pride and sense of ownership and can be used to celebrate historic places, people, and events while raising awareness and funding for a Main Street’s programming. The Milk District in Orlando, Florida, leverages our brand and amplifies local culture through merchandising while opening a new revenue stream for the program. The Milk District is home to diverse businesses and interests, and we look ...
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October 31, 2022 | Photo Spotlight: City of Halloween, South Carolina | By: Adam Emrick, City Administrator in Conway, South Carolina | Jack-o-lantern tree in Conway, South Carolina. All photos courtesy of Adam Emrick. In late September of 2022, City of Conway Mayor, Barbara Blain-Bellamy issued a surprise proclamation, renaming the City of Conway, South Carolina to the City of Halloween, South Carolina, for the month of October. The Mayor promised a calendar full of events, frights, activities, and sights and delivered on that promise. Conway City Hall featuring spooky decorations in celebration of the month. Decorated water tower in Conway. ...
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October 25, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Backing Women Business Owners on Main Streets | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | October is National Women’s Small Business Month! In May of this year, American Express’ Inclusive Backing grant program, administered by Main Street America, awarded grants to sixty small business owners who identified as women, non-binary, or US military veterans. We spoke to three of the awardees to learn more about their businesses, their journeys, and their advice for aspiring women business owners. Felicia Stokes – Luxurious Wellniss Luxurious Wellniss is a skin lab in Orange, New Jersey ...
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October 27, 2022 | We need your help! Please take our Small-Scale Development Survey | By: Patrice Frey, Senior Advisor at MSA | Dear Main Street Colleagues, As I shared late last month , Main Street America is launching a new Small Deal Initiative to increase investment in small-scale real estate development projects in our downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. For purposes of this project, we define “small-scale” real estate as projects with a total value of less than $5M (though we recognize that many projects on Main Streets fall well below this $5M threshold.) I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this project in my new capacity ...
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Wednesday, October 26, 2022 | 5 Tips to Make Your Small Business Saturday a Success in 2022 | By: Liz Shenk, Manager of Marketing and Outreach, Main Street America | Small Business Saturday® is coming up on November 26, and Main Streets across the country are gearing up to rally their communities around the small businesses at the heart of their downtowns. From social media scavenger hunts to downtown passports, the Main Street network has used countless innovative ways to encourage their communities to Shop Small® -- and had plenty of fun doing it. This year, we’re once again partnering with American Express to offer you support and resources as ...
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October 24, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Examining the Thumbprints | By: Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the International Storytelling Center | Downtown Jonesborough, Tennessee. Photo by Jay Huron. The offices of the International Storytelling Center, where I work, are in a beautiful old building on Main Street in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest town. We're situated right next door to a perky log cabin called the Christopher Taylor House. Prominent, plainly marked, and meticulously maintained with funds from preservation grants, this structure is the oldest building in Jonesborough. The reason that Christopher Taylor House is famous is because ...
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October 19, 2022 | Save the Date for the 2023 Main Street Now Conference Save the Date for Main Street Now 2023 We can't wait to see you in Boston, Massachusetts, for the 2023 Main Street Now Conference from March 27 - 29! Save the date to join fellow commercial district revitalization leaders from across the country for three days of education sessions, special events, field sessions, and opportunities to explore the host city, including 20 Main Street neighborhoods. Whether you come from an urban business district, small rural downtown, or somewhere in between, the Main Street Now Conference offers solutions to common problems and new techniques ...
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October 18, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Women Leading Change on Main Street in Franklin, Michigan | By: Pam Hansen, former Franklin Village President | Franklin’s women business owners. Photo by Crystal Proxmire, Publisher, Oakland County Times. Franklin, Michigan is a small historic village in Southeast Michigan, just outside of the Detroit city limits. Established in 1828 and chartered in 1954, the village was the first designated State Historic District in Michigan. As all places do, Franklin evolved over time, but the historical development patterns and architecture remained. Fostering community, protecting valuable natural and recreational resources, ...
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October 17, 2022 | American Express Neighborhood Champion Application Open Today | This holiday season, rally your communities around the small businesses that help make your downtown thrive. If you are a Main Street America member, encourage your community to Shop Small® on Small Business Saturday® and throughout the holiday season by applying to be a Neighborhood Champion today ! Main Street America is a proud supporter of Small Business Saturday, and we're thrilled to team up with American Express to help you support small businesses on your Main Street as a Neighborhood Champion. All Main Street America members have been pre-qualified to serve ...
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