Main Street Monthly - January

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Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

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Start gathering data for your Annual Reports to submit by Feb. 26

It’s that time of the year again—the Indiana Main Street annual reports are available to complete! These annual reports are a requirement for designees of the Indiana Main Street program at all levels. Annual reporting assesses the year prior (i.e. you will be reporting on the year 2020.) The submission deadline is 5 p.m. ET Feb. 26, 2021. Please contact Jackie Swihart if you require assistance.

At Your Side Small Business Grant Program opens this week

Main Street America and Brother International are working together to support small businesses and amplify the importance these enterprises play in communities across the country. The collaboration shines a light on inspiring entrepreneurs and provides resources and marketing support to small businesses in need. As part of this initiative, “At Your Side” Small Business Grant Program is available to provide $75,000 to Main Street small businesses in need.

The program supports brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening across the country, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial corridors. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will open at noon ET, Jan. 21 and will be accepted through Jan. 28 at 7:59 p.m. ET. Click here to review all the program terms and conditions.

AA Cultural

Apply for an African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grant

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes representing African American cultural heritage. Since establishing the program in 2017, the National Trust has invested $4.3 million in 67 diverse preservation projects across the country.

Grants made from the fund will range from $50,000 to $150,000. Read more about the program guidelines here and find some frequently asked questions here.


2021 Heritage Support Grants are now available for applications

The Indiana Historical Society will offer three funding opportunities in 2021 through the Heritage Support Grants Program. The program exists to advance the care of and access to history in Indiana, while increasing the capacity of organizations that carry out this work.

To apply, organizations must be an incorporated 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, reflect history as a significant component of organizational mission and/or propose a history-focused project and have an annual budget under $300,000. Projects ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 will be awarded in June 2021.

Organizations interested in applying must submit a summary of proposal by March 2, 2021. If invited, applicants will then submit a full proposal by April. For more information, visit this website or contact Tamara Hemmerlein.

Indiana Arts Commission is gauging interest for On-Ramp Teams

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) is gauging interest in a strategy to expand statewide access to the agency’s signature creative development program, the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator. Teams of individuals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and businesses interested in serving as contracted partners to deliver this capacity-building model to local cohorts across the state are encouraged to respond.

Artists are creative small businesses experiencing urgent and widespread need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the IAC surveyed more than 1,400 Hoosier artists last year, it found creatives want to work and be part of the solution for their community, but need new strategies of earning income and connecting with their audience. Read more about the survey here.

The On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator is a national award-winning program designed to provide intense exposure to ten key areas of entrepreneurship and finance and ongoing mentorship and support to participants. Read more about this program here.

Important Dates

Friday, Jan. 29 – COVID-19 Response, Phase 3 proposals are due

Friday, Feb. 12 – Taking Care of Main Street online applications are due

New Main Street applications are due March 5, 2021

Click to view our calendar


Greenfield Main Street now has a podcast

Greenfield Main Street Director, Debra Cochran Smith, has started a podcast: Meet Me on Main Street. And she's looking for some guests. If anyone would be interested in a 30 to 45 minute conversation about your experience as a Main Streeter, or stories or tips to share, please reach out! Email her to get started.

IH Grant Funding

2021 Indiana Humanities grants

Indiana Humanities will offer more than $215,000 in grants in 2021, continuing to provide opportunities for smaller rapid-response funding and larger grants that support innovative and collaborative public humanities programs.

A webinar is available about each offering and they anticipate holding in-person grant workshops around the state to provide additional information. Click here to view all the grants.

Looking for downtown leadership training?

The Main Street America Institute supports downtown development professionals through a comprehensive set of learning opportunities that provide the tools and strategies needed to lead results-oriented revitalization efforts. Get started today!

Main Street Now conference topics and ideas survey

Main Street America goes virtual for the 2021 Main Street Now Conference, April 12-14. This conference will be three days of immersive online content with a high-energy experience. Please share the topic and session types that would be most valuable by completing this survey.

Nominate an outstanding leader for the Mary Means Leadership Award

Since its founding, the Main Street program’s success has depended upon the vision and determination of leaders committed to community transformation. To celebrate these directors and recognize the outstanding leadership of the Main Street program’s own founder, Main Street America introduced the Mary Means Leadership Award in 2019.

New this year, the Mary Means Leadership Award nomination process is an open call to any and all staff or volunteer leaders at local Main Street or UrbanMain organizations and coordinating programs.

Nominations are due Feb. 15. Click here more details.