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Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

OCRA > Indiana Main Street (IMS) > What is Indiana Main Street? What is Indiana Main Street?

Indiana Main Street encourages the revitalization and restoration of downtown areas in Indiana cities and towns.  The program provides technical assistance and educational opportunities to participating communities. Indiana Main Street is the state's coordinating program to the National Main Street Center.

Indiana Code establishing Indiana Main Street


2016 Community Exchanges

OCRA is sponsoring a series of Community Exchanges on the last Wednesday of the month during July, August, September, October and November in 2016.The purpose of the Community Exchanges is to allow Indiana Main Street communities and others to network and learn from one another. The exchanges will give communities an opportunity to discuss local issues, ways others have resolved some of those issues, and innovative tactics Main Street communities are employing to address the needs of their organization, community, and downtown areas.

The following Indiana Main Street organizations will host an exchange in their communities:

* July 27:  Knightstown (Henry County)
* August 31:  Frankton (Clinton County)
* September 28:  Roachdale (Putnam County)
* October 26:  Greensburg (Decatur County)
* November 30:  Special Holiday Edition

* The Holiday Edition will provide communities with the opportunity to kick off the holiday season with new information at a festive event taking place in one of Indiana's Main Street communities. Any IMS community interested in hosting the event should reach out to their OCRA Community Liaison.

Attendees do not need to be members of a Main Street organization. Elected officials and other leaders are welcome. For more information or to register, please visit: Information will be continuously updated, so check back often.


Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach

The Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach involves:

Organization Organization: Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals involved in the revitalization process. To ensure a self-reliant, broad-based, long-lasting downtown revitalization program, the entire community must rally around the idea. Cooperation from both the public and the private sector is critical to achieve visible results. In addition, a separate staff and business solely dedicated to downtown revitalization is key to achieving long-term, large-scale results.

Promotion Promotion: Marketing the commercial district's assets to customers, potential investors, businesses, local citizens, and visitors. To keep investors, visitors, and businesses coming downtown, Main Street must reshape the community perspective of downtown as a hub of activity. Successful downtown image campaigns, as well as promotional activities that build upon the community's unique heritage and culture send a consistent, compelling message promoting the downtown area.

Design Design: Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems and long-term planning. The look of downtown, its streets, signs, buildings and store interiors is unique to each Indiana community. Main Street's goal is to work with all these elements to create a friendly, attractive place that will draw in visitors and businesses.

Economic VitalityEconomic Restructuring: Strengthening the district's existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities and challenges from outlying development. Main Street's ultimate goal is to create downtowns that are economically viable. Researching the regional market and consumer trends give Main Street organizations a realistic picture of what market mix will work for their downtown. Based on their research, Main Street organizations can begin stabilizing existing businesses and recruiting new businesses to fill the gaps.

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