Main Street Newsletter - March

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Attend the first Main Street Community Exchange of the year


On April 12, join Main Street Corydon for a fun filled day in Historic Corydon. The day's topics include interesting, fun filled, informative and useful information regarding how the community is "Saving our Past for the future". Elements of preservation, design, bringing historic together with modern and so much more. Registration is $30, which includes lunch and snacks. Reserve your seat today!

Listen to this month's microlearning Main Street panel discussion

For this month's micro-learning video, we planned a panel discussion centered around the value of having a paid staff member for a Main Street organization. While traveling the state talking to various Main Street groups and local elected officials, the question of why a community should have a full or part time director/manager for the Main Street organization is often asked. In this video, we are talking with three Indiana Main Street groups that, in the past few years, decided to commit to hiring full time main street directors.

On our panel includes Molly Freeland, Board Chair of Batesville Main Street; Becky Schepman, director of Seymour Main Street; and Heidi Peterson, director of Main Street Marion. You don't want to miss this discussion!

Listen now

Additional conferences to attend

Great Lakes logo

Organized by OCRA, Oakland County Michigan Main Street Program and Downtown South Bend, the conference will bring together leaders in downtown and historic commercial district revitalization from all over the Great Lakes region to highlight asset-based strategies to community and economic development. The conference is scheduled for Sunday, August 18 through Tuesday, August 20 in downtown South Bend, Ind.

Early bird registration is now available through May 1 costing $75 per person. After May 1, registration is $100 per person. Registration includes attendance of the breakout and keynote sessions as well as breakfast and snacks. 

A block of rooms are reserved at the Aloft Hotel in downtown South Bend for $97 a night. Use this link to reserve your room at this price.

Regional Conferences

During the month of May, attend one of the OCRA Regional Conferences and learn about trails, placemaking, public safety, broadband expansion and much more in this full day event, keynoted by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. This year we are hosting the conferences in the following cities: Madison, Huntingburg, Fair Oaks, Knightstown, Angola and Greeencastle.

Lunch, snacks, networking and hands-on activity opportunities will be provided. Visit our website for updates to include a complete agenda, registration links and more.

Attendance at any of these events meet the annual training requirement for Indiana Main Streets. However, we highly recommend that your organization attend as many events as possible.

Infographic update

Main Street assessment data is compiled into new infographic

Thank you to all who submitted your 2018 Indiana Main Street assessments and return on investment data. Collecting these reinvestment statistics provides a tangible measurement of your local Main Street program’s progress and is crucial to garnering financial and programmatic support for your revitalization efforts. 

Use and share these statistics at Board meetings and at meetings with your local elected officials.  If you don’t regularly meet with your local elected officials, set up a meeting as soon as possible and go to coffee with each of them just to talk about all the great things your Main Street organization is doing!  Bring a fact sheet with the reinvestment statistics you compiled to leave behind with them.  Here is a workable template if you need an idea. A personal meeting allows for a more intimate conversation and gives you the opportunity to make a human connection with your elected officials which may be difficult during public meetings.

Important Dates

Friday, April 12 − Main Street Exchange

Thursday, April 25 − QuIP awards are announced

View our full calendar.

Take this short survey for DNR

Through this survey, DNR wants to measure Indiana's current preservation context and climate. Your input will help the DNR revise Indiana’s Cultural Resources Management Plan for 2020-2026.  This plan will help guide local preservationists and everyday citizens, as well as DNR staff, in their efforts to preserve Indiana’s heritage resources.  Feedback will ensure that DNR’s preservation programs and expenditure of federal funds are responsive to the needs of Indiana.

Take survey

Vote for these Indiana Main Streets

The goal of the America's Main Streets contest is to help promote the importance and strong economic benefits of these Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive.

Main Streets are the heartbeat of America's cities and towns. They play an important part in the long-term success of communities and help build a sense of place.

Currently, these Main Streets have entered:

Vote daily to help one of our Indiana organizations win $25,000 in cash and related prizes!

Main Street business

Preparing main street for the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’


It’s been called the “retail apocalypse,” the growth of e-commerce at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores. The term is misleading: Overall, retail is doing just fine, with industry growth up 4.4 percent in 2018. But online sales grew by 12 percent last year, so the growth in e-commerce dwarfs that of the industry as a whole by a factor of three to one. The way people spend their money is changing, and fast.

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Submit a nomination for Partners in Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street America, and American Express are working together to bring $2 million in preservation funding to projects on America’s Main Streets through a robust campaign that will raise awareness of the work being done across the country to revitalize commercial districts in small towns, mid-sized cities, and urban centers. The public will be engaged in an online and offline participation campaign to help determine the winning projects.

Nominations are now being accepted for participation in this program. We are seeking to identify historic preservation projects with capital needs and public benefit. Grants will be a maximum of $150,000. Projects should be limited to that budget or, if they exceed that amount, you will be responsible for securing additional funding. The open call for nominations ends on Monday, April 22, 2019.

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Be a part of a national network of Main Streets. Visit or call (312) 619-5611 to join Main Street America.