The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today that it will conduct five workshops around the state in September to help guide local officials through the application process for the popular Main Street downtown redevelopment program. The program provides intensive, year-round training in strategies to attract private investment and new jobs to local downtowns.
Four communities gained the designation in 2003. The competition for the next round of Main Street designations begins this fall.
“Main Street is an excellent downtown development tool,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC. ”We want to offer all communities the opportunity to take part in the program. These workshops will provide excellent information to help community officials generate a successful application.”
The workshops, conducted by members of the MEDC’s Community Assistance Team, will include a review of the MEDC programs and development tools available to communities, as well as an overview of the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization. Participants will be provided information on the selection criteria, scoring system, reporting expectations, submission requirements and important dates.
Since 1980, the National Main Street Center has worked with communities across the country to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. The Main Street approach was initially developed to save historic commercial architecture, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well.
Michigan is one of 39 states participating in the National Main Street program. In 2003, a field of 22 potential applicants was narrowed down in the initial round to 17. From those, 10 finalists were chosen to present their proposals to a panel of state and local development organization officials.
The four winners of the 2003 Main Street designation—Portland, Marshall, Boyne City and Calumet/Calumet Township—and a fifth community, Howell, will host this year’s workshops. All will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
The Main Street informational workshop schedule is as follows:
- September 3: Amy's Place, Portland
- September 4: Marshall Civic Center, Marshall
- September 5: Cleary's Pub, Howell
- September 8: Boyne District Library
- September 10: Miscowabic Club, Calumet
The registration deadline for all workshops is Wednesday, August 27. For registration information, please contact Sally Rushton of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at (517) 335-2141.
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.