Michigan Main Street Center wins Main Street Hero Award from National Main Street Center

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Award recognizes Michigan’s efforts to revitalize state’s downtowns, create vibrant communities

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Main Street Center, a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, has been named the winner of the Main Street Hero Award from the National Main Street Center, MEDC announced today. 

The Main Street America Hero Award recognizes outstanding contributions by an elected official, government staff person, public agency, or nonprofit organization at the local, state, or federal level. Winners of the Hero Award are champions of community-driven comprehensive economic development, leaving a lasting impact on their own community, region, or state, while also enhancing national efforts to revitalize America's downtowns and older and historic commercial corridors. 

“For years, Michigan Main Street has distinguished itself as a leading Coordinating Program in the Main Street America movement, truly embodying what it means to be a “Main Street Hero, said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “As a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MMS has demonstrated transformative leadership in leveraging comprehensive community development tools and resources to enhance the roll-out of the new Main Street Approach to its communities.”

The Michigan Main Street Center supports local communities across Michigan as they implement the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, a community-driven, comprehensive strategy encouraging economic development through historic preservation in ways appropriate for the modern marketplace. Over the past year, Michigan Main Street communities generated more than $47.5 million in private investment, 105 new businesses and 127 façade improvements.

According to the National Main Street Center, the Michigan Main Street Center has a long track record for outstanding commitment to communities throughout the state through direct technical assistance and forward-thinking leadership. Michigan Main Street also has a long-standing and strong partnership with the National Main Street Center, including support for professional development initiatives like the Main Street America Institute, as well as the roll-out of the refreshed Main Street Approach to all of its communities. 
“The Michigan Main Street program provides downtown communities with the tools needed to create jobs, provide desirable places to live and build a sense of place for Michigan residents,” said MEDC Executive Vice President and Chief Community Development and Marketing Officer Greg Tedder. “Michigan Main Street is proof that a community-driven approach to placemaking can leverage local assets to support community and economic development. I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of MEDC, our participating communities, and the hundreds of volunteers who work tirelessly to build thriving main streets across the state.” 

The Michigan Main Street program ties in with Gov. Rick Snyder’s placemaking efforts to create vibrant communities across Michigan. These efforts are based on numerous studies showing that investing in placemaking creates vibrant city centers and downtowns, making the state economically stronger. There are currently 35 communities participating in the Michigan Main Street at associate, select and master levels. Each level provides services based on a community’s commitment, from one to five years in the program.

Since its inception in 2003, the Michigan Main Street has been a catalyst for job growth, private investment and community engagement. From 2003 through 2016, 1,047 new businesses and 2,280 net new jobs were created. In addition, more than 556,000 volunteer hours were recorded in the task of revitalizing downtowns across the state.

More information on the National Main Street Center is available online at http://www.mainstreet.org/. For further information on the Michigan Main Street Program, visit https://www.miplace.org/communities/mms/.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.