Main Street Newsletter - April

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Lt. Gov. Crouch announces additional COVID-19 Response Recipients


On April 30, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced that an additional 49 rural Hoosier communities will receive more than $8.8 million in federal grant funding through the new COVID-19 Response Program.

“With today’s announcement, Indiana has awarded more than $10.7 million to our rural communities,” said Crouch. “From increasing access to necessary testing and medical supplies to providing businesses and their workers with much needed relief, these funds are directly assisting in the fight against COVID-19.”

Roadmap to a Healthy Reopening

Roadmap to a Healthy Reopening, is a series of free webinars that will help you think through the procedures and protocols to consider implementing in your business or organization. Presented by Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and led by physicians and business leaders from Parkview Health and the Allen County Department of Health, each session is tailored to be industry-specific.

  • How might you implement distancing measures?
  • What safety precautions could you implement, like wearing masks or expanding cleaning measures?
  • How do I successfully keep my employees and customers well while also maintaining a healthy bottom line?
  • How might you innovate and adapt in response to a dynamic, uncertain situation?
  • Click here to learn more

Angola artist brings art and togetherness into local sculpture

Wood sculpture

In early April, Downtown Angola Coalition was awarded a $5,000 Quick Impact Placebased (QUIP) grant to create a pocket park in downtown Angola. The park will include both a fairy and pollinator garden, solar street lamps along with local art and sculptures. The park will allow the community to enjoy nature while being inspired by what artists have created and serve as a tool for educating on pollinator and natural Indiana plants.

In preparation to build the park, an invasive Bradford Pear tree had to partially be removed, leaving a large stump for later removal.  As COVID-19 became an issue, a community member suggested Scott Lepley carve something in the tree to give visitors and residents something to enjoy and remind everyone we are #INthisTogether. Below is what he designed:


Scott started carving 22 years ago after attending the Paul Bunyun Festival in Hocking Hills, Ohio. His first carving was done for his newborn son, and that carving is still in his shop today. Scott has made wooden sculptures for benefits, special occasion gifts, festivals, but really enjoys designing something special for yards and personal use.

The carving was made possible by Angola's Mainstreet organization, Downtown Angola Coalition.

New mental health resource website

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration launched a new website,, that provides Hoosiers with free mental health resources that have been vetted by experts. The site is designed to help with the increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues caused by the pandemic, including both first-time issues as well as pre-existing mental health concerns.

Hoosiers can visit to find trusted resources curated by FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, including information ranging from coping mechanisms, crisis counseling, how to self-monitor for signs of stress, domestic violence resources, substance use disorder and recovery, and tips for helping children, youth and teens. Videos featuring medical experts, persons in recovery and other practicing Indiana clinicians addressing specific mental health topics are also available on the site.

Farmers Market

Farmers' Market resources

A lot of folks have asked about Farmer’s Market resources, so here are a few guidelines that could be used as a model. Keep in mind—examples from out of state will need to conform to Indiana law but can still serve as a guidepost:

Farmers markets are urged to follow CDC guidelines related to social distancing. Market managers, please see this resource from the Farmers Market Coalition for further guidance. Producers, please see this guidance created by Purdue.

Have you joined our IMS COVID-19 Network Facebook group? Click here to join.

Important Dates

Wednesday, May 6 − Manage Your Business Remotely in Times of Uncertainty at Noon ET Hosted by Grow with Google

Sunday, May 31 − CDBG Round 1 applications due

Calendar updates:

  • The May Main Street Community Exchange has been moved to Friday, August 28, 2020, and will continue to be hosted by Shelbyville Main Street.
  • The Great Lakes Main Street Conference scheduled for October has been cancelled by Oakland County Main Street.

View our 2020 calendar.

Weekly Main Street Calls now every other week

Thank you to all of those who were able to join our calls on Thursday. Lt. 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. We will be adjusting this call to now occur every other week.

Next call: Thursday, May 14 starting at 11 a.m. ET:

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


Help Jeffersonville win $25,000

Jeffersonville Main Street has made it into the top 25 in the country in America's Main Street contest! If Jeffersonville wins the grand prize, they are devoting the $25,000 to small businesses in downtown Jeffersonville impacted by COVID-19. Being the only Indiana Main Street in the quarterfinals, the goal is for all Indiana Main Street organizations to rally around Jeffersonville Main Street and help them win this prize for their small business. Vote 25 times everyday, today through May 24. Save this link and start voting!

NMS Impact Map

Data from Small Businesses Survey

Last week, Main Street America conducted an online survey to assess of impact of the COVID-19 on small businesses and help us better understand what kinds of support programs will have the most impact. The findings in the newly released report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses: Findings from Main Street America’s Small Business Survey, are sobering:

Nearly 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing permanently over the coming five months and approximately 35.7 million Americans employed by small businesses appear to be at risk of unemployment.

More than 5,850 small business owners responded. Respondents came from more than 1,000 places across the United States. Nearly 40 percent of the small businesses represented in this survey operate in towns with fewer than 10,000 residents.

Learn more and read full report:

Distinctive Destinations Application

The intent of the Distinctive Destinations program is to bring historic sites together into a marketing collaborative to drive awareness for these historic places. Click here to nominate a site.

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