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Introduction to Main Street

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  1. Introduction to Main Street DONNA ANN HARRIS HERITAGE CONSULTING INC Heritage Consulting Inc.

  2. Agenda for tonight • What happened to downtown? • What is Main Street? • 4 Points & 8 Principles • Board, Teams & manager • Typical first year projects • Getting started • What you can do to help Heritage Consulting Inc.

  3. Soul of a community • The community’s heart • Barometer of town’s economic health • Place for community celebrations • Often the best architecture in the area is there • Post office, library, churches, institutions • Home What are downtown districts? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  4. Downtown looks different than 30 years ago • The days before the Mall • Impact of the car • What kinds of things you used to find in a typical downtown • Convenience goods • Services • Comparison shopping Heritage Consulting Inc.

  5. Regional malls • Pedestrian malls • Strip shopping centers • Power centers/category killers/big box • Wal-Mart • Ebay, etsy • Changing demographics • Downtown changed without much thought What happened to downtowns? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  6. How did Main Street start? • Began more than 30 years ago • Recreate the sense of downtown • Not like it was in the 1940s • But for today’s consumers • Volunteer driven, historic preservation based, economic development program Heritage Consulting Inc.

  7. National Trust Midwest Regional Office • Concern about downtown buildings being demolished • Pilot project in three Midwest cities • Manager was the jack of all trades • Try to do “something” about downtown • Works in cities, towns, suburban and rural areas Pilot project Heritage Consulting Inc.

  8. How did the pilot project work? • Lessons learned • Expanded to five states, six towns each • National Main Street Center began in 1980 • Trainings and publications began then Heritage Consulting Inc.

  9. Main Street today • About 1800 towns using the Main Street Approach • 46 states • Urban—Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia • Suburban—Oakland County Michigan • Rural—everywhere Heritage Consulting Inc.

  10. Eight Main Street Principles Heritage Consulting Inc.

  11. Eight principles • Comprehensive • Incremental • Public private partnership • Acton oriented planning • Uses existing assets • Quality • Change • Self help Heritage Consulting Inc.

  12. Main Street is a volunteer driven, historic preservation based economic development program • Work on all four committees/points at once, at the same time • Dinner menu, not a la carte 1. Comprehensive Approach Heritage Consulting Inc.

  13. Main Street stresses incremental progress • Vitality did not drain overnight • No overnight success either • All four committees make small steady progress each year • Projects build on success and learning • PLEASE! No massive public improvement projects right away • Sustained meaningful changes 2. Incremental progress Heritage Consulting Inc.

  14. We insist on a real public and private partnership for MS to work • Government and private sectors work together • Need both to make it work • Cannot rely on one or two sources of funding • Each has unique skills to bring 3. Public private partnership Heritage Consulting Inc.

  15. No studies sitting on shelves here • People should see steady progress • Identify priority projects first through work plan process • Breaks down big projects into small bites to be done • Tasks get done by volunteers who own the project • Volunteers make it happen 4. Action oriented planning Heritage Consulting Inc.

  16. Buildings • Organizations • People • Garden clubs • Service clubs • Capitalizes on rich heritage in the downtown • Main Street adapts to each town’s unique concerns and character 5. Uses existing assets Heritage Consulting Inc.

  17. Focus on doing the best with your assets • Quality architecture to promote • Quality events to plan and improve • Quality materials to distribute • Quality is everything about MS 6. Quality Heritage Consulting Inc.

  18. Changing people’s attitudes about downtown takes time • Change happens incrementally • Clean and safe FIRST • Show tangible results quickly • Show how much better stores can look • How much better customers are treated • Getting people to work together • Some may not even like each other • But all want a better commercial downtown 7. Change Heritage Consulting Inc.

  19. Will to succeed is key • Desire to create positive change • Volunteers do the work • You will need LOTS of them • Manager is the orchestra conductor or coach • Self help is what makes Main Street great 8. Self help Heritage Consulting Inc.

  20. Does not do the work of the committees or volunteers • Is a generalist • Professional “nudge” • Helps team complete work • Fills in the gaps • Thinks strategically • Gets training and trains others Unique role of the manager Heritage Consulting Inc.

  21. How does Main Street work? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  22. Four or Five teams • Downtown Hightstown Inc. as sponsor/Board • Expand the board • Gain 501c3 nonprofit status • Public private partnership with city • One paid manager • LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS How will Main Street be organized in Highstown? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  23. 23 Four or Five Teams One paid manager, full or part time depending on town population Downtown Hightstown Inc. board Public/private partnership with city Clean & Green How is Main Street organized locally? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  24. Typical Main Street Organizational Chart 24 Policy, Advocacy, Planning, Fundraising & Personnel Monitor crime Security patrols Clean up Green up Volunteers Partners PR Fundraising Market strategy Retail events Image activities Special events Building improvements Design education Public spaces Enforcement Market info Biz retention & expansion Biz recruitment Property development Heritage Consulting Inc.

  25. What will the DHI Board do? • Funding and financial management • Advocacy • Committee oversight • Evaluation of program • Personnel management • Policy • Planning • Adhere to Mission and Vision Heritage Consulting Inc.

  26. What will the Teams do? • Take charge of specific tasks they feel are needed to help the downtown • Develop annual work plan • Develop annual budget from work plan • Work plan reviewed by board • Budget and work plan adopted by board Heritage Consulting Inc.

  27. More about Teams • Volunteers allowed to spend money in adopted budget without further approval • Board responsible for fundraising • Manager does not raise money for their salary Heritage Consulting Inc.

  28. Why have Teams? • Empowers local people to own the work • Creates many opportunities for citizens to be engaged • Permits volunteers to take action to complete projects • Involves many types of stakeholders • WE NEED LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS Heritage Consulting Inc.

  29. What do the Teams do? Heritage Consulting Inc.

  30. Organization Team Goals & Objectives Objectives Goal • To develop and sustain a well managed volunteer-driven organization • The most important team for a start-up • Money • People • Communication • Present the program to the public using traditional and social media • Recruit, retain and reward volunteers • Assist the board with fundraising strategies • Develop and assure organizational leadership • Assist in personnel and office management Heritage Consulting Inc.

  31. Organization Team first year tasks • Create a volunteer data base • Recruit volunteers • Develop volunteer job descriptions • Train volunteers • Recognize them at annual meeting/picnic • Start a newsletter or other vehicle to get the word out • Design logo and letterhead Heritage Consulting Inc.

  32. Organization Team first year tasks • Start an annual gifts drive • Merchants • Property owners • Corporations • Non downtown biz • Residents • Get the word out about hiring a manager Heritage Consulting Inc.

  33. Promotion Team Goals & Objectives Objectives Goal • Bring people back to shop • Develop and improve special events • Create unique retail oriented activities and events • Define downtown’s market niche and target appropriate markets • Create campaigns to improve the image of the downtown Heritage Consulting Inc.

  34. Promotion Team Activities • Special Events • Retail Events • Image Events and Promotions Heritage Consulting Inc.

  35. Promotion Team first year tasks • Develop a signature festival or event • Coordinates with existing events and helps expand them • Begins promotion of downtown as an organized district—banners, bags, brochures • Begins to develop events just for retailers Heritage Consulting Inc.

  36. Design Team Goals & Objectives Objectives Goal • Enhance our downtown’s historic character • Educate others about good design • Encourage quality improvements to private buildings and public spaces • Provide incentives for quality improvements to buildings • Influence appropriate public design and planning processes • Foster historic preservation ethic and promote preservation activities Heritage Consulting Inc.

  37. Design Team • Design team improves: • Streetscape, sidewalks, gutters, trees, handicapped ramps • Shop windows • Storefronts • Facades • Vacant buildings • Vacant lots Heritage Consulting Inc.

  38. Design Team first year tasks • Photo Inventory of all buildings, current conditions • Work with owners to make small changes, signs, awnings, paint • Begin to develop incentives, loan pool, grants to encourage more improvements • Help improve the public spaces in downtown • Work with city on Design Guidelines Heritage Consulting Inc.

  39. Design Team first year tasks • Begin work to recognize the historic character of the downtown • Walking tours, local historic district • Help owners do larger design projects on their properties • Develop a library of books, articles, resources for same Heritage Consulting Inc.

  40. Economic Restructuring Team Goal & Objectives Objectives Goal • Increase public and private investment in the downtown • Gather and analyze market information • Strengthen & expand existing businesses • Find economic uses for Main Street buildings • Recruit new complimentary business • Monitor the economic performance of the district and report statistics Heritage Consulting Inc.

  41. Economic Restructuring • Help existing businesses to be stronger and grow • Bring in new businesses to complement existing • Grow independents first, then chains Heritage Consulting Inc.

  42. ER typical first year tasks • Begin market analysis • Merchant survey • Intercept survey • Telephone survey • Compile info • Review and interpret • Share with everyone • Develop market niches based on analysis Heritage Consulting Inc.

  43. Clean and Green Team Objectives Goal • A clean and green downtown for residents, shoppers and visitors • Address downtown’s on-going cleanliness & maintenance needs • Combat misperceptions about downtown safety • Add greening activities to downtown Heritage Consulting Inc.

  44. Clean and Green • Work closely with Police and Sanitation Depts • Monitor crime stats • Understand litter issues • Educate biz owners and residents if there are violators • Seek enforcement of existing laws Heritage Consulting Inc.

  45. Typical first year tasks • Educate biz owners and residents if there are sanitation violators • Seek enforcement of existing laws • Host seasonal clean up days • Green up activities • Spic and Span Awards Heritage Consulting Inc.

  46. Unique role of the manager • Orchestra conductor • Does not do the work of the committees or volunteers • Is a generalist • Professional nudge • Helps committees complete work • Fills in the gaps • Thinks strategically • Gets training and trains others Heritage Consulting Inc.

  47. What does the manager do? • Someone has to know everything going on • Someone has to attend all the Board and team meetings • Someone has to be the spokesperson • Someone has to write and manage the grants • Someone has to coordinate volunteers Heritage Consulting Inc.

  48. Merchants • Property owners • Government • Residents • Economic development entities • Chamber of commerce • Local institutions • Preservationists • All have a stake whether downtown is successful Involving stakeholders Heritage Consulting Inc.

  49. How volunteers & stakeholders are involved • All have something to say • All invited to serve • As board members • As committee members • As volunteers • As financial supporters • Main Street is a grass roots effort Heritage Consulting Inc.

  50. 7 traditional revenue sources • Government appropriations • Annual gifts • Sponsorship • Special Event profits • Fundraising Event profits • Grants • Tax revenue—SID or hotel/motel tax revenues for tourism efforts How are local programs funded? Heritage Consulting Inc.