Main Street Newsletter - May

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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News about this year's Downtown Development Week

Downtown Development Week (DDW) is a week-long celebration typically held during the second week of October. Not only does the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) help promote events, provide promotional material and participate in the events, but we also release a small grant to help conduct events in five rural downtowns. Unfortunately, due to circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, OCRA decided it is best to not host DDW this year. That being said, the plan is to have DDW return in 2021.

For this year, OCRA wants to still find ways to promote your downtowns, specifically your small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. OCRA is planning to do a promotional social media blitz for the week leading up to Small Business Saturday, to also include Cyber Monday (E-Commerce focus), and Giving Tuesday. More information will be available over the next month about how to get involved. If anyone has feedback on how OCRA can best support you during this small business push, please let us know.

In the meantime, it might be advantageous for you to begin planning ways to support and promote your small businesses as we continue through the COVID-19 recovery and work through both local and CDC guidelines.

OCRA wants to be a good partner during this constantly evolving time and will look forward to the planned 2021 celebration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Abby Chapman or Jackie Swihart.


Applications are due in June for the Preserving Women's Legacy Grants

Preserving Women’s Legacy Grants catalyze Main Street communities to discover, preserve and activate locations that tell stories about women’s contributions in Indiana. Grants of $15,000 to $40,000 will be awarded to four to seven communities for projects beginning on or after July 1, 2020. Funds can be used to support historic preservation work, placemaking, public art, trail signage and other tangible projects that commemorate Indiana women’s history and promote visitation to Main Street communities. Grants require a 1:1 match. Applications are due Monday, June 15, 2020. Full information about eligibility, requirements and more can be found in the grant guidelines.  

IMS ROI infographic

Main Street assessment data is compiled into new infographic

Thank you to all who submitted your 2019 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.

PPE marketplace is now available

A new marketplace for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will serve as an added resource for Indiana small businesses returning to work is now available. To be eligible to purchase from it, an organization must:

  • Be a business or nonprofit organization registered to do business in Indiana with the Indiana Secretary of State;
  • Employ less than 150 associates; and
  • Be identified in the reopening plan as an entity that must use PPE as a condition of operating in order to comply with safe workplace requirements.

Visit Back on Track for more information.

Main Street Forward recovery resources now available

In an effort to provide Main Street programs with clear and strategic direction as economies begin to reopen, Main Street America introduced a new recovery-oriented resource center, Main Street Forward. This new area on their website features a range of free resources for Main Street leaders, including recovery planning tools, guidance as it relates to Four Point activities, research, advocacy efforts and best practices and examples from around the network.

Find tip sheets for recovery ideas as they relate to the Four Points as well as examples of recovery activities from around the Main Street America Network. We also encourage you to check out our tip sheets for Small Business Owners and Community Leaders on how to reopen safely.

Nominate an inspirational senior for a Golden Hoosier award

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, in collaboration with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Aging, has announced nominations for the 2020 Golden Hoosier award are now being accepted.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must currently be an Indiana resident, aged 65 or older and have been a volunteer in the community for the past three years. Applications are due June 30, 2020. Access the electronic nomination form here

Important Dates

Thursday, May 28 2019 Action Plan Public Hearing. Click here for participation information.

Monday, June 15 − Preserving Women’s Legacy Grant applications are due.

Calendar reminders:

  • The Great Lakes Main Street Conference scheduled for October has been cancelled by Oakland County Main Street.

View our 2020 calendar.

New Main Street leadership training coming soon!

Executive Directors who were hired in 2019 or 2020, will be invited for two new director training opportunities: a 101 orientation with the Indiana Main Street OCRA staff; and more in-depth training with the National Main Street Center (NMSC) staff later this summer. Training with NMSC will be open to all Executive Directors who are interested in getting a refresher on the Main Street Approach. Both of these opportunities will be required for directors hired on in from 2019 to 2020. More details will be released at a later date.

Reminder: bi-weekly Main Street calls

Next call: Thursday, May 28 starting at 11 a.m. ET:

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

Complete this short survey

OCRA is collecting feedback on the Main Street America’s Trends in the COVID-19 Response that will Shape Main Streets webinar that was held on May 5. Please take a few moments to provide feedback to help inform our future training opportunities. Click here to begin.

May is Historic Preservation Month

In a world consumed by the  changes due to COVID-19, the comfort and community offered by historic places can be a great diversion. This article from Indiana Landmarks highlights one of our historic favorites, Amack’s Well Coffee House in Batesville Main Street!

Join Main Street America in celebrating Preservation Month by using #WeAreMainStreet on social media accounts and read more on celebrating preservationists, by clicking here.


Keep voting for Jeffersonville!

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. Vote 25 times everyday, today through May 24. Save this link and keep voting!

From National Main Street Center

Check out this great article: Matt Wagner, of Main Street America wrote this article on the human psyche and its impact on a return to bricks-and-mortar shopping,

New, inspiring community round-ups ideas: Here are two COVID-19 Community Response Roundups worth checking out. This one highlights virtual farmer’s markets and this one highlights customer counters and colorful pathways.

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