Main Street Newsletter - January

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Humanitites - LG

Lt. Governor announces new placemaking program with Indiana Humanities

On Jan. 16,  Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced an exciting partnership between the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Indiana Humanities for a funding opportunity specifically created for Indiana Main Street organizations.This new program will prepare Main Street communities to discover, preserve and activate historic structures/locations to tell stories about Hoosier women's contributions. These projects will be creative collaborations resulting in communities becoming more knowledgeable of the historical impact women had in their own community or region. Each project will leave a legacy in the community for generations to come. More information will be released about this program over the coming months, so stay tuned!

2020 IMS

2020 Community Exchanges are scheduled

Last month, we asked our IMS communities to apply to host this year's community exchanges. We were blown away by how many responses we received and thank each community for applying. Below are the dates, locations and topics for each Friday exchange:
May 29: hosted by Mainstreet Shelbyville, Inc.
Topic: EV & Bonus Funding

June 26: hosted by Destination Huntingburg
Topic: Organization & Design

July 24: hosted by Culver Second City Main Street
Topic: Design & Promotion

Nov. 20: hosted by Auburn Main Street
Topic: Promotion & Bonus, Holidays

Dec. 11: hosted by Jeffersonville Main Street, Inc.
Topic: Design & EV

Participate in these grant opportunities

Quick Impact Placebased Grant

This matching grant is designed to fund transformational projects that spark community-wide conversations and creativity. The project funding range is $2,500 to $5,000 and for every dollar in grant funds awarded, 50 cents must be matched, via cash or in-kind, by the applicant. All program information is now available including an informational video. Please contact your respective community liaison to discuss project eligibility and competitiveness.

Future of Shopping Small Grant Program

American Express is teaming up with Main Street America to give 10 small business owners $10,000 each to help their businesses innovate in this evolving retail landscape. The American Express Future of Shopping Small Grant Program will celebrate small businesses across the country that are a vital part of their community. The program is intended to support small businesses that have demonstrated new approaches to traditional business strategies and those businesses looking to try out creative techniques, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial districts. Click here to review the program terms and here to apply! The application deadline is March 31, 2020, 11:59 p.m. CST or if 3,000 applications have been submitted.

Irvin Henderson Main Street Revitalization Fund

This fund provides up to two million in tax credit financing to support transformational historic rehabilitation projects in low-income Main Street communities. The fund's portfolio covers multiple asset classes including multifamily, mixed-use, community facility, hospitality, office, and industrial projects. To be eligible projects must possess six qualifications that are outlined here.

Small Business Office can help build up your local entrepreneurs

One thing that helps a Main Street hustle and bustle, is a thriving small business community. The U.S. Small Business Administration is like a resource that small business owners might not realize they have available. SBA is a cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to helping small businesses start, build and grow by providing counseling, capital, and contracting expertise through an extensive network of business advisors and lenders.   

Recruitment is now underway for the 2020 Indiana Emerging Leaders Class, which is a free entrepreneurship education and training program for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies. This mini-MBA crash course teaches small business owners how to work on their business instead of in it.  Why is this beneficial for a Main Street Program?  Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained more than 5,000 small business owners nationwide, created more than 6,500 jobs, generated more than $300 million in new financing and secured more than $3.16 billion in government contracts. Indiana is one of only 55 sites offering Emerging Leaders this year so you don’t want to miss this opportunity. For more information and to register, visit

Connect with them online, in your neighborhood or on Twitter at @SBA_Indiana

Important Dates

Thursday, February 6 − 2019 OCRA Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, February 24 −
CDBG 2020 Round 1 opens

View our 2020 calendar.

IMS Annual Reports update

Our team is currently working on getting the new system ready for annual report submission. Deadlines and instructions will be released within the coming weeks. Look for an additional announcement when its available. Interested in knowing what to prepare? Click here to view a list of questions.

Attend preservation conference in April

From April 14-17, join the Preserving Historic Places, Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference in South Bend, where new enterprises in historic factories, showrooms and office buildings contribute to a revitalized and vibrant city. Be inspired by an entertaining mix of tours, education sessions led by experts, hands-on workshops, and fascinating speakers. View the agenda here or register now for the early bird special.

Register to attend the National Main Street Conference

Join main street professionals from across the country May 18 to 20 in Dallas, Texas, for the largest national conference of local leaders working to advance economic opportunity in downtowns and commercial districts. Main Street Now, allows you to network with peers, find innovative solutions to common problems, and discover techniques and tools to help your community to thrive. Get inspired by Dallas and surrounding Main Street communities as you learn from their revitalization successes and challenges.

What trends are you seeing in your Main Street?

The National Main Street Center is encouraging all local programs to complete their Annual Trends Survey to collect data regarding average salary, budget, organization type, etc. This information will help NMSC provide more accurate answers to questions they field. The more participation from local programs, the more accurate the information they provide is. Your participation is highly appreciated! Find the survey here.

Historic preservation is great for your downtowns

"Historic preservation is good for cities, not just good, historic preservation is great for cities." Read In Place Economics's 24 reasons why historic preservation is good for your community. Click here to download the report.

11 most endangered

2020 Most Endangered Historic Places

Since 1988, the National Trust has used its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of our nation's greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 300 sites to date, has been successful in galvanizing preservation efforts and less than five percent of these sites have been lost. Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 list. Deadline for submissions is  Feb. 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Visit this website for more information.

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