Main Street Monthly - December

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Annual Reports are due from all Indiana Main Street levels

It’s that time of the year again! Indiana Main Street annual reports are a requirement for all levels of the Indiana Main Street program. Last year, we transitioned to collecting annual reports using OCRA's Grants Management System. If your local program was recently designated as either a Nationally Accredited Main Street or Indiana Accredited Main Street, you will continue using this system.

If your local program was recently designated as an OCRA’s Downtown Affiliate Network program, your organization can still log into the eGMS system to review reporting from 2019. But moving forward, ODAN programs are only required to submit abbreviated reporting. This abbreviated reporting will be collected using SurveyMonkey. ODAN programs can access reporting for 2020, by clicking here.

For questions regarding annual reporting, please contact Jackie Swihart. Reporting is due no later than 5 p.m. ET, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.

Destination Tools for Main Street Programs

Proven Strategies to Bring Customers into Businesses During this Pandemic

Indiana Main Street program managers, board members, and business owners are invited to join Jon Schallert, Destination Business Expert, in a live online presentation starting at noon E.T. on Thursday, Dec.17. He will explain existing tools and new strategies available for Indiana’s struggling independent businesses.

In this one-hour Zoom presentation, Jon will share a variety of tools businesses can use now and into 2021, which will help businesses continue no matter the status of the pandemic.

Jon will also discuss his new Destination Creation Course and how Main Street Managers around the country are becoming certified facilitators to train their local businesses with this new online class. Attendance is limited to the first 100 participants.

To join this Zoom Meeting, click here.

Check out this innovative idea of activating storefronts through storytelling

Scan & Love

Fredericksburg VA Main Street (FVMS) recently won the 2020 Main Street Idea Pitch competition, receiving a $5,000 award to help make their Scan & LOVE project a success! Alongside four other finalists, Fredericksburg presented the idea of activating storefronts through storytelling. 

This project will provide downtown businesses with branded posters (posted in their storefront window) that feature a special QR code. Each business owner will meet with a videographer to produce a two-minute video that showcases a personal story about themselves, their business, safe shopping information and/or interesting facts about their building. The video will be linked to the QR code and uploaded to the FVMS YouTube page, and FVMS remains confident that local consumers and visitors walking downtown will engage a well-branded campaign and become excited to learn more about businesses in downtown Fredericksburg. Through the Scan & LOVE project, an emotional connection will be established between the business and the public that creates an increased desire to “open the door” and discover what’s inside. Click here to read the full article.

OCRA christmas

This holiday season, let’s cherish what’s truly important in our lives: our people. 2020 challenged our relationships to stay close, but from a distance. Take time to celebrate the people who helped get your community through this crazy year. What's truly great about Indiana is her people and we are excited to work alongside you. From all of us at OCRA, we hope you have a joyful and safe holiday season!

Important Dates

T​hursday, Dec. 17 − CDBG Round 2 awards announced

New Main Street Applications are due March 5, 2021

Save the Date for the Great Lakes Main Street Conference. In 2021, the virtual conference will be on Aug. 5 and 6. Look for more information, regarding registration, coming this spring!

Have you reviewed our 2021 calendar?

Facebook 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!

Did you miss the recent Comprehensive Work Plan Training?

The training covers how to craft downtown strategies and how to turn your project list into an effective plan for fundraising and volunteer development. Many communities will be recovering from COVID-19 as they enter 2021, but planning efforts should still continue. This session will help your Main Street board and committees to develop projects with measurable outcomes.

Click here to watch the recording. Remember to copy and paste this passcode: ^7JWqlCf

Let's hear from small business owners

Main Street America is appealing to lawmakers and want to hear from small business owners by completing a small survey. Small business owners can text “survey” to (833) 945-1313 or click here for a quick survey.

New research released

Main Street America and The Brookings Institute’s Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking released new collaborative research focused on the role that place governance organizations, like Main Street programs, play in building resilient rural places. Click to view the briefs.