Main Street Newsletter - July

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Bi-weekly calls now moved to regional calls starting this fall

The Office of Community and Rural Affairs has decided to cancel the bi-weekly Indiana Main Street call and replace them with bi-monthly regional calls. Every other month, each region will convene on a conference call to give updates on local activities and to network with other Main Streets in your area. Depending on your region, calls will begin in either September or October. All calls are scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m ET on the days listed below:

  • Northwest: September 4;
  • Northeast: September 11;
  • East Central: October 2;
  • Southeast: October 9;
  • West Central: October 16;
  • Southwest: October 23.

Not every program is expected to join every call as we understand that conflicts may arise. However, it is an expectation as an IMS designee to join and participate when scheduling and time allows. Depending on the number of participants, calls may not last the entire hour.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or specific topics you would like to discuss prior to the calls, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jackie Swihart by email or by calling 317-460-6177.

Females at Work

Grant funding for women apprenticeships now available through the U.S. DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor announced $4.1 million in funding to support women’s participation in apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations. Up to 11 grants may be awarded between $350,000 to $750,000 to community-based organizations who provide the following types of technical assistance:

  • Developing pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship or nontraditional skills training programs to prepare women for those careers;
  • Providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions and workers on creating a successful environment for women to succeed in those careers; and
  • Setting up support groups, facilitating networks and/or providing supportive services for women to improve their retention.

Apply by the August 3, 2020 deadline. Click here to learn more and apply. 

Have you heard about the Hoosier Hospitality Promise?

HHP Logo

The Hoosier Hospitality Promise serves as an initiative that empowers communities to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. Members of the travel and leisure-related industry, their guests, retail businesses, and consumers can make The Promise to follow federal, state and local health and safety guidelines for a proper reopening. 

The Hoosier Hospitality Promise includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Follow CDC guidelines to ensure safe sanitization practices;
  • Follow guidelines for specific sectors;
  • Practice social distancing, wear face coverings if not possible;
  • Do not go out if sick;
  • Clean and sanitize common areas regularly based on CDC recommendations;
  • Display the Hoosier Hospitality Promise at entrances.

After making The Promise, the business will be added to the website's aggregated participating business listing and map. These businesses will have access to a digital tool kit that features a Promise sign and badge for their website, social media assets, and downloadable communication and promotional guides. In addition to these easily accessible resources on the website, businesses can also find a list of physical locations online to pick up a door cling and other promotional assets in person.

HHP DIgital Pass

Once a consumer makes The Promise, solidifying the guest has made their commitment towards making Indiana healthier for all, they will receive a Promise Pass. The pass gets them exclusive discounts at participating businesses.

Consumers and businesses interested in taking The Promise or learning more about the initiative can visit


Indiana company creates online marketplace for local businesses


Indiana Originals

Shopping locally is more important now than its ever been. Mel McMahon (shown to the left) of Indiana Originals shared about the new division to her company that will soon make it even easier to shop locally in the comfort of your own home. Here’s more from her:

"This new division of our company will generate even more revenue for Indiana business owners and our communities. Announcing Indiana Gifts; a new e-commerce store showcasing Hoosier makers, creators, and service providers. At Indiana Gifts, we are always looking for great, Indiana-made products showcasing the creativity and innovation of our fellow Hoosiers. If you are an artist, designer, maker, or creator, consider Indiana Gifts a partner in the promotion and sale of your product."

Important Dates

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

Saturday, August 1 − Planning Grants open for applications

Thursday, August 6 − CDBG Round 1 awards announced

View our 2020 calendar.

New Main Street Executive Director and Staff Training

July 20, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET.

This session provides an overview of the Main Street Approach and the crucial roles of the Main Street Directors in working with boards and volunteers to lead the revitalization efforts and build effective organizations. This training is open for all full time, part-time, or other relevant staff of Main Street programs. Registration is encouraged but not required.


Rental Assistance Portal is now available

Are you an Indiana renter who has been impacted financially by COVID-19? The Rental Assistance Portal is designed to help Indiana renters, living outside of Marion County, whose income has been adversely affected by COVID-19, avoid eviction by connecting them with programs that can help them cover monthly rent payments or past due rent. Visit this website for more information:

Indiana Main Streets highlighted in magazine

If you haven’t already, be sure to read this Main Street article included in the Indiana Landmarks’ July/August magazine. Shout out to Madison, Shelbyville, Jeffersonville, Evansville, and Lawrenceburg Main Streets. We are so proud of all of the work you do!

From National Main Street Center

From 12:00-1:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 12, the National Main Street Center will host a virtual Board Training for Communities without Executive Directors. This training will discuss roles and responsibilities of a volunteer driven revitalization program. Establishing overarching strategies, leadership development, funding, and program growth.

From 10-11:30 a.m. and 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET, on Tuesday Aug. 28, the National Main Street Center will host a virtual leadership development training for Executive Directors and Board Members.

  • The first session is exclusive for Executive Directors and will be all about the people and our role in building capacity, empowering the board to lead through strategy, and team building: enabling volunteers to lead committees and begin to action.
  • Then, at noon, Board Members are invited to join the conversation around helping Boards define strategic direction and align the work of the organization to lead recovery, the process by which we function. The responsibility of Board of Directors includes: producing programming value and sustainable district revitalization.

These trainings are avaiable for any Indiana Main Street program and registration links will be sent once they are available.

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