Main Street Monthly - September

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Save the Date 2

Learn more about Giving Tuesday
in this free webinar

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, beginning at 1 p.m. ET join the free webinar, Giving Tuesday and Welcome Wednesday: Tips, Strategies and Templates.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, digitally connecting with donors is more of a necessity than ever before. Last year, 27 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday, and this year, many more will be seeking ways to contribute to the good that has been getting us through this challenging year. Giving Tuesday will shine a spotlight on millions of missions around the world, of organizations both big and small. But what happens beyond the big day? In this webinar, learn how to stand out on Giving Tuesday and turn new donors into long-term advocates by celebrating Welcome Wednesday with the same enthusiasm through a dynamic and engaging new donor welcome series. Register here.

Lt. Gov. Crouch celebrates in Angola

PWLG- Angola

On Sept. 9, Lt. Gov Suzanne Crouch joined local, state officials and members of Downtown Angola Coalition. The coalition was recognized for a $40,000 grant it received through the Preserving Women's Legacy Grant Program for a life-size sculpture of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, along with book studies and lesson plans for local students. Click here to learn more about each project. OCRA is planning visits to  Peru and Michigan City as well.

Want to learn more about Transformation Strategies?

Join Indiana Main Street and the National Main Street Center for a Virtual Transformation Strategy workshop. Both workshops are held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, with a break for lunch between Noon and 1 p.m. ET.  Each region is based on the OCRA Community Liaison regions.

Northern region (includes: Northwest, Northeast, and East Central): Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Southern region (Southwest, Southeast, and West Central): Friday, Oct. 2.

Most local Main Street organizations are successful in building revitalization skills, forming public/private partnerships for revitalization activity, and mobilizing volunteers. Yet many struggle with how to reach more challenging benchmarks like developing upper-floor housing units, recruiting new businesses, and identifying and eliminating barriers that impede a district’s economic growth.

Many organizations also spend a disproportionate amount of time on promotional events as these have become an  income generating source. However, this emphasis could create the misconception that Main Street organizations are only concerned with promotion — not with economic development or historic preservation, which are the foundations of the Main Street program.

During this workshop, communities will learn about transformation (or economic) strategies that will help guide work of the Main Street organization across the Four Points of Main Street, help organizations build upon assets and set measurable economic outcomes.

Each participant will need to prepare information before the workshop. Please email Jackie Swihart for the necessary materials and she will then provide the webinar registration link. 


Register now to attend virtual preservation conference

Registration for the virtual National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference is now open. Taking place Oct. 28 through Oct. 30, the virtual conference will feature the breadth and depth of great work going on across the preservation field, and feature practical, relevant information to meet your evolving needs in the pandemic and post-pandemic periods. This includes a full day dedicated to Main Street content that will be begin with a special (and free) plenary session announcing the 2020 Great American Main Street Award winners! Register here.

Apply for free assistance to update employee handbooks

The Indiana SBDC and ServantHR are teaming up to support the long-term resiliency of Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs. Eligible companies may apply for no-cost assistance to update their employee handbooks in order to address challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including: remote working arrangements, administration of leave policies, sanitation procedures, and compliance with federal, state and local standards and regulations. Indiana small businesses are encouraged to submit applications online.

Important Dates

Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Main Street 101 webinar: Promotion, Noon – 1 p.m. ET Register here

Upcoming regional calls:

  • East Central: Oct. 2;
  • Southeast: Oct. 9;
  • West Central: Oct. 16;
  • Southwest: Oct. 23.

Click to view our full calendar.

Join FB group

Have you joined our Facebook group?

OCRA created this group to provide a place to share resources, uplifting stories and best practices for all Indiana Main Street organizations. Join the group today!

Have you recently hired an Executive Director?

Have you recently hired a new executive director for your Main Street organization? As part of the orientation process, please schedule OCRA's Executive Director Orientation within the first 90 days. This orientation will provide an overview of the Indiana program, discuss National Main Street's role, and answer any questions. Our goal is to help with the transition into the new role with information, tools and resources at their fingertips. To schedule this orientation, please contact Abby Chapman.

SB Saturday

Continue to send us your businesses!

Continue to submit the small businesses you wish to highlight by completing this online form and placing them into reference categories. Once they are submitted, our team will build them into a Google Map. This map will be featured on our website and social media accounts to encourage people to shop small.

Deadline approaching for Historic Preservation Education Grants

These grants award up to $2,500 for programs that educate Hoosiers about historic places and properties, foster appreciation and encourage communities to preserve them. Read the guidelines and apply by Sept. 30.

Main Street America

Main Spotlight: Historic Walking Tours are perfect for the uncertain world of today. With a “new normal” in the age of the COVID pandemic, how  can communitites offer activities that are safe for residents and visitors, but still fun and engaging? Click to learn more.

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

Take 10 minutes and complete the 2020 Census online or by phone (844-330-2020).