Main Street Now - March/April 2010

Download the full PDF (this issue is available to everyone - not only Main Street members)

Director's Column: Sustainability: More than Just Bricks

by Doug Loescher
Doug introduces our second annual "green issue" that explores sustainability as the concept relates to Main Street. Pointing out that without comprehensive revitalization and a long-term management plan for our communities, sustainability on Main Street will be elusive. We will introduce a Main Street Green Census later this summer and a green revitalization summit later this year to address this topic in greater depth.

Community-owned Businesses: How Communities Become Entrepreneurs

by Josh Bloom
When there is a need for a particular business in a district or when the private sector isn't opening up needed business establishments, organizations and members of the community can step in and open community-owned businesses. How does this model work? Who has been doing it successfully? Josh looks at several different types of investment models and various groups that have already taken the plunge (Cops & Doughnuts in Clare, Mich., anyone?).

New Media, New Advocacy: Washington State Main Street Program Saved by Facebook Campaign

by Andrea L. Dono
State budget cuts slashed funding for the Washington State Main Street Program, potentially leaving 90 local communitiy programs in the lurch. Taking up the charge, local program leaders worked with its partners to create an innovative and successful use of social media to advocate on behalf of the program, connect with media, and gain active supporters to join their fight. Learn how they did it, see how social media became an invaluable tool, and get an insider's view on how policy is shaped. Includes sidebar on how the National Trust for Historic Preservation crafted its own social media and traditional advocacy campaign for trying to save Save America's Treasures and Preserve America.

Green Streets in Iowa

by Kathryn Craig
The Iowa Department of Economic Development launched a progressive Green Streets Initiative and is working with two pilot communities on sustainability projects. Beginning with energy audits and looking into sustainability planning and geothermal downtown heating and cooling system - Woodbine and West Union are showing their peers that rural and small towns can be just as innovative, if not even more so, than big cities when it comes to being green.

Going Green: Preservation Green Lab Update

by Liz Dunn
The Green Lab, a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is in its second year of experimenting with sustainability ideas. It is working on new energy codes based on building performance outcomes and examining building code policies and financing models that cities need to integrate district energy systems into existing neighborhoods and buildings. Get the scoop on what we've accomplished so far and what's next.

Shop Talk: The Trend: No More Business as Usual!

By Margie Johnson
In this installment of her Shop Talk column, Margie looks at what retailers are doing to "recession-proof" their businesses and discusses embracing macro and micro trends.

Profitable Solutions: Owners, Managers, and Entrepreneurs

by Tom Shay
In this installment of his Profitable Solutions column, Tom tells us about about three of personality types of business owners and how their personalities affects how they run their businesses - for better or worse.

Network Notes

by Andrea L. Dono
Rutgers University, the National Trust Community Investment Corp., and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition released a compelling report that shows the incredible economic activity leveraged by historic tax credits. Preservation Books offers a free online publication to help with flood damage of historic buildings. We share a few cool online tools, including Maryland's Going Green Downtown guide and a visual timeline that you can use to track your Main Street's progress and milestones on your website.