Friday, May 09, 2003
Field Narrows to Ten Finalists
The competition to participate in the Michigan Main Street Program has narrowed to ten communities. They have been invited to present full applications to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Michigan Main Street selection committee for final consideration.
“The community response to this program has been phenomenal,“ said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC. “All of the applications were top-notch. Selecting the Main Street communities will be a very difficult decision.”
The ten finalists are: Boyne City, Calumet and Calumet Township (joint submission) Clare, Escanaba, Linden, Marshall, Mount Clemens, Muskegon, Niles and Portland.
Four communities will ultimately be chosen in June to participate in the program. The Main Street application process began in February with 23 communities submitting notices of intent to the MEDC. Seventeen of those communities submitted full applications in April.
Main Street is a downtown revitalization program administered by the MEDC.The program offers intensive, year-round training in downtown revitalization strategies designed to create more jobs and investment in Michigan’s downtown communities.
Michigan is now one of 39 states to administer a Main Street program. The communities selected to participate will be educated in the four-step Main Street approach which includes promoting long-term design concepts, community cooperation and organization, community marketing and encouraging economic restructuring to strengthen the community’s existing economic base while expanding it to meet new opportunities.
Since 1980, the National Main Street Center has been working with communities across the nation to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. The Main Street approach was initially developed to preserve historic commercial architecture, but has become a powerful; economic development tool for downtown revitalization.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.