Main Street Newsletter - June

Main Street logo

Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Grey Bar

COVID-19 Response Program Phase 2 encourages coordination with Main Street organizations

The COVID-19 Response Program Phase 2 is open for proposals, and applicants can receive bonus points for working with a local Main Street program. As such, we encourage you to reach out to your local municipality or whoever is coordinating the community’s application/program for this funding opportunity. Main Street organizations can either run the local grant/loan program as a lead applicant or be listed as a sub-recipient.

Many communities are applying on behalf of small business funding for either grants or loans, and as Main Street leadership, you could act as a conduit on behalf of the community. You may even consider coordinating efforts if your organization already has a loan or grant program in place.

For more program information and to view the recorded webinar, click here.

IMS ED training

Main Street Executive Director training now accepting registrations

Scheduling is underway for newly hired Executive Director training. If you were hired in the calendar year of 2019-2020, please register for this free training. There are only a few time slots left, so hurry to reserve a spot!

  • Sign up here - Please note: All dates are secured, except for August 13 & 14. Choose one of the available times on those dates.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for more information regarding our Executive Director Training that Main Street America will be leading sometime in July/August. This training is for every executive director in the Main Street program who is interested in getting a Main Street refresh, broadening leadership skills, and networking with other IMS executive directors.

More training is also being planned for board members, specifically for organizations without a paid executive director. This is to help those organizations without a paid staff member to be able to build capacity. If you have any questions about IMS training opportunities, please contact Abby Chapman via email or 317-430-8683.


New IMS toolkits are now available!

Over the past eight weeks, OCRA worked with a legal intern with the Lt. Governor’s Office to grow Main Street education opportunities. She conducted her own independent research, consulted with law professors and other experts in the field, as well as with Indiana Main Street directors to create three new toolkits for the Indiana Main Street program. Short webinars are also available for each toolkit, all of which are between 15-25 minutes in length. The following topics are now available to view and download:

Absentee Property Owners 101: This toolkit outlines potential remedies that Main Street organizations could utilize when facing issues related to dilapidated buildings whose owners lack commitment to maintain their building. Also note the additional Absentee Property Owner Letter Template.

Code Enforcement 101: This toolkit covers three methods for utilizing code enforcement and explores the Main Street organization’s role in advocating for stronger code enforcement.

MOU & Contract for Services 101: Learn about the differences between Memorandums of Understanding and Contracts for Services, and how having one or the other might benefit the Main Street program’s relationship with a local municipality.

Download the toolkits and watch the webinars on OCRA’s website.

Get to know OCRA summer intern: Jenna Childress


College/University: Indiana University Bloomington, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Major/area of focus: Environmental Management and Law and Public Policy major; Urban Planning and Community Development minor.

Originally from/grew up in: Speedway, IN

What attracted you to work with OCRA? Last year I took a Community Development class and OCRA was one of the agencies that we learned about. These were two of my favorite classes, and we worked with cities/towns to create recommendations for them based on the unique issues they were facing. When I started looking for internships, I checked to see if OCRA had any out of curiosity, and found that the description for this internship was incredibly similar to the projects that we had completed in my classes that I enjoyed.

Your dream job: Sustainable planning or something with housing policy.

Favorite place you’ve ever visited: Cinque Terre, Italy

Which three people, living or dead, would you invite to dinner? Angela Davis, Anthony Bourdain, Charles C. Deam.

Important Dates

Friday, June 26 − COVID-19 Response Phase 2 proposals are due

Wednesday, July 1 − Historic Renovation Grant Program opens

Friday, July 31 − COVID-19 Response Phase 2 applications are due

View our 2020 calendar.

ISDA Contest

Grab your camera!

Submissions for the Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest are due by June 30. Find more information here.

Reminder: bi-weekly Main Street calls

Next call: Thursday, June 25 starting at 11 a.m. ET:

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

Locable is seeking hosts for marketing workshops

If your community is looking to connect small business owners with marketing training materials, please consider serving as a host for Locable’s nationwide Marketing 3-4-5 tour. The training is entirely actionable and they will show merchants how to use some of their free tools, which include e-commerce and cross-promotion. The hosting fees are quite reasonable with two different options available. For hosting options, pricing, and host responsibilities please see this document.

If you’re interested in hosting, please contact Brian Ostrovsky at

Let's capture your unique Hoosier story

People want to relocate and live in a place that has a high quality of life with great restaurants, outdoor adventures, and a thriving community and business environment. Indiana has all of that and much more. As Hoosiers, we know we have an incredible story to tell, but we need to be more intentional about sharing it.

In order to better tell our story, the Indiana Destination Development Corporation is launching the "Hoosiers by Choice" campaign. The goal is to tell the stories of people who have moved to Indiana and learn why they will never leave. This is a unique opportunity to showcase your region and the great community you call home.

If you are willing, please review the additional information here and submit your video and information by Tuesday, June 30. Please contact Alli Lindenschmidt if you have any questions.

From National Main Street Center

Earlier this month, Main Street America launched their new recovery-oriented resource center, Main Street Forward in an effort to provide Main Street programs with clear and strategic direction as economies begin to reopen. 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—as well as a Planning for Recovery Guide.

Main Street America released their 2019 revitalization statistics and their new edition of State of Main. Both demonstrate that Main Streets have the power to persevere. Main Streets generated $6.45 billion in reinvestment in 2019, gained 6,466 net new businesses, and had $80 billion in cumulative reinvestment. To view both State of Main and the recent statistics, click here. Together, we are Main Street strong!

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