The annual National Main Streets Conference is quickly approaching. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is holding this year’s conference May 22-25, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. If you cannot make it to the big show in person, you can still be a "Virtual Attendee" on its website - which will soon feature live streams, tweets, and blogs.
Main Street programs exist across the U.S., which engage in “preservation-based economic development,” as well as small business growth and other issues that impact main streets and downtowns. The annual conference will include training, an expo, plenty of networking opportunities, and "mobil workshops that focus on revitalization in Des Moines and surrounding Main Street Iowa communities," according to online conference information.
“In Des Moines we will focus on recruitment, retention, strengthening and supporting your local businesses; showcase how being green and open to all will help with these efforts; and, of course, learning about the Main Street Four Point Approach from the basics to the new, cutting-edge ideas that are being put in to practice in our Main Streets across the country.”
Two Michigan communities, Boyne City and Old Town Lansing, are in the running for “Great American Main Street Awards (GAMSA)" along with eight other semi-finalists. Winners will be announced at the conference. Read a previous 21c3 blog by Arnold Weinfeld about the honor.
You can read my previous blog about how the Michigan Main Street Program reports progress in Michigan. Or if you are in the mood for something light and delightfully cheeky, check out this viral video that Main Street Iowa made in commemoration of their 25th anniversary.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info
The Michigan Main Street 2009-2010 Annual Report is available online. The report covers the major successes of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Michigan Main Street Program over the 2009-2010 reporting year and since the program’s founding in 2003. You’ll also find an explanation of the program’s “Four-Point Approach” and their “Eight Guiding Principals” to developing strong main street programs in Michigan downtowns.
The report highlights the accomplishments of 13 Michigan downtowns who were “Active Master and Selected Level Communities” in 2009-2010. Read the report to find out what kind of downtown development and community initiatives are happening in “Master Level” communities - Boyne City, Calumet, Clare, Marshall, Niles, and Portland, MI - and “Selected Level” communities - Grand Haven, Howell, Iron Mountain, Manistee, Old Town Lansing, Owosso, and Scottville.
Since 2003, the program has generated $96,329,318 in private and public investment, according to the report. $24,439,644 of that was generated in 2009-2010. 169 new businesses have been created, since 2003, and 62 were created in 2009-2010. 117 existing businesses have been expanded, since 2003, and 30 of those were expanded in 2009-2010.
Read the report or visit the Michigan Main Street Program online to find out more about the services and strategies this statewide program provides to Michigan communities.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info.