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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Continue to join our weekly Main Street call, every Thursday

Thank you to all of those who were able to join our calls on Thursday. Lieutenant Governor Crouch and our team at OCRA want you to know that we are walking alongside you through this. We will continue to host these calls as a way to share best practices and discuss any updated challenges or problems your organization or community may be facing in light of the health emergency.  Download a call summary here.

Call information: every Thursday starting at 11 a.m. ET:

  • 1-844-621-3956
  • Access code: 359 165 52

OCRA COVID-19 Resource page continues to be updated

In an effort to provide an avenue to share links and best practices, OCRA created a resource page with information from state and federal partners. This page will be continually updated, so check back often. Click here to check it out!

We also encourage you to follow Indiana State Department of Health new webpage for all COVID-19 updates.


New blog series to highlight COVID-19 response examples

Main Street America has launched a new blog series featuring community response examples from around the Network. These are a collection of ideas and approaches that local Main Street programs are taking in response to COVID-19.

Recent posts:

New Remote Event Planning. After Downtown SLO in San Luis Obispo, Calif., suspended their Thursday Farmers Market, they decided to open a Virtual Farmers Market. The virtual market contains links to vendors' websites, where consumers can purchase items and support vendors until the farmers market returns.

Gift Card Challenge. Downtown Laramie in Laramie, Wyo., is incentivizing their community to #SupportLocalSafely by buying gift cards from downtown businesses in their new Gift Card Challenge. For every gift card valued at $20 or more purchased between March 16 to April 10, the purchaser will be entered in a weekly drawing of a $25 downtown gift certificate. Downtown Laramie is also encouraging purchasers to post a picture of their newly acquired gift cards on social media! 

Additional Main Street-specific resources and community responses are still being collected. Complete this form if you'd like to contribute.​

How to Rescue Main Street From Coronavirus Before It’s Too Late

by Economic Innovation Group (blog)

It is now clear that the coronavirus pandemic will exact a staggering toll on the American economy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reportedly warned Congress that unemployment rates – currently near their historical lows – could skyrocket to 20% absent massive federal intervention. Former White House Council of Economic Advisors chair Kevin Hassett believes a global recession is nearly certain to unfold, and expects monthly job losses for March to be among the worst in U.S. history. By any measure, an economy that not long ago had driven Americans’ confidence in the labor market and optimism about their financial security to record highs is about to undergo a massive and potentially catastrophic disruption.

Important Dates

Thursday, April 2 − QuIP awards posted online

Friday, April 3 − CDBG Round 1 Proposals due

View our 2020 calendar.

QUIP awards to be posted on April 2

Quick Impact Placebased Grants awards will be released on Thursday, April 2. A press release will not be sent, so we encourage you to check the website to find a list of awarded projects. Please contact Colette Childress, OCRA Program Manager if you have any questions.

Recent News

Gov. Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Crouch take more actions to protect Hoosiers during public emergency

To help protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Holcomb signed Executive Order 20-05 which directs multiple state agencies on the expectations of providing support and protection to Hoosiers across the State. For the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, it meant issuing a change to our Community Development Block Grant Program.

OCRA is in the process of developing a COVID-19 Response Program using the Community Block Development grant funds. Program details will be announced in the near future.

Read the full announcement to review all the program changes. 

Hotline for business to call with questions

The Critical Industries Hotline is up and running and is available to answer business and industry questions only regarding my Stay-At-Home order. Review the FAQ here.

Call 877-820-0890 or email

Main Street America Resource Toolkit

Downtowns need Main Street organizations now more than ever. Main Street America is here to help your organization by compiling an ongoing list of existing opportunities and community response examples to help Main Street districts during the crisis.

Two webinars on COVID-19 effects just announced specifically for Main Street programs! Register for free here.

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