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Workshops and Training Sessions

A variety of workshops and training sessions, including an annual conference, are available to participating communities. All workshops are organized to bring optimal learning opportunities to Main Street staff and volunteers. These events are delivered throughout the state and often include travel-friendly options like tele-video conferencing and regionally based events. Indiana Main Street welcomes suggestions and requests for workshops and training sessions.

Community Exchanges

The Main Street Community Exchanges are designed to bring Main Street communities from across the state to various locations to learn about best practices, new initiatives, and gain insight into other communities unique approach to implementing Main Street. The exchanges feature learning opportunities, lunches, networking, and tours. Each exchange is held on a Friday and is an all day event. 

  • 2019  - Disaster Planning for Main Streets presentation - pdf
  • 2020 - All have been cancelled due to COVID-19

2020 Indiana Main Street / National Main Street Center Training Schedule

Please note: all of these training are subject to change. Please contact Jackie Swihart if you have any questions.  

Main Street 101 Four Point Training Webinars, all from Noon – 1 p.m. ET

  • September 8  – Organization 
  • September 15 – Design
  • September 22 – Economic Vitality 
  • September 29 – Promotion 

NMSC Workshop on Transformation Strategies 
How to look at community assets and data and how to choose strategies.  Either in-person or virtual, TBD.

  • September 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET (Northern workshop)
  • October 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m ET (Southern workshop)

Leadership Development for Executive Directors: October 6, 9:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. 
Professional values in Main Street (ethical conduct, conflict resolutions, role in advocacy)

Hiring Your Executive Director Webinar: November 2, 12:00-1:00 P.M. ET 
Step-by-step process form establishing a search committee to job descriptions, evaluating resumes, the interview process, welcoming new ED and doing job performance evaluations.

Advanced Webinar: December 1, Noon – 1 p.m. ET
Specialized topic: TBD

Recorded webinars

Trends in the COVID-19 Recovery That Will Shape Main Street (May 5, 202)
Hosted by Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs at the National Main Street Center

This webinar focused on trends that Main Street programs should be aware of while looking to recovery for the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial impact of COVID-19 and new consumer shopping habits will be reviewed as well as guidance provided in how your work under the Main Street Four Point Approach should change. Watch it now.  

Toolkits & Guides

Is your Main Street and Chamber looking to merge? This guide has been compiled from Main Street America’s online networking platform, The Point. The following is not intended to serve as advice from OCRA or Indiana Main Street, but rather, from fellow Main Street professionals.

Crisis Communication: A crisis situation is rarely predictable, but it is extremely important to plan and strategize for a host of difficult scenarios, including how to communicate when issues arise. Use this toolkit to help identify, preparing for and handling a variety of different situations. 

Using Downtown Spaces to Respond to COVID-19: This toolkit is primarily intended for Indiana Main Street directors but can be easily adapted to fit the needs of other individuals or organizations. Step-by-step directions and planning considerations are provided for each option, as well as some background information on the programs and links to other resources that may be helpful.

Absentee Property Owners 101: This toolkit and webinar outlines potential remedies that Main Street organizations could utilize when facing issues related to dilapidated buildings whose owners lack commitment to maintain their building. Questions covered in this toolkit and webinar include: What actions can Main Street organizations take to remedy absentee property owners? Why does action by the Main Street organization matter? What does code enforcement look like? When should I seek advice of council?

Code Enforcement 101: This toolkit and webinar covers three methods for utilizing code enforcement and also explores the Main Street organization’s role in advocating for stronger code enforcement. Questions covered include: What types of code enforcement exist? How can my Main Street organization hold owners accountable to building and maintenance codes? What if my community doesn’t have code enforcement? What do examples of code look like?

MOU & Contract for Services 101: This toolkit and webinar covers the differences between Memorandums of Understanding and Contracts for Services and how having one or the other might benefit the Main Street program’s relationship with local municipality. Questions covered include: What’s the difference between a MOU and Contract for Services? How would my Main Street organization build a MOU? How can my Main Street organization build a close relationship with local municipality? What should my Main Street organization keep in mind after an MOU or Contract is established with the municipality?

Indiana Main Street - Annual Report

The reporting process gives our office an opportunity to utilize the information collected to conduct a yearly assessment of each local organization. There are two reports, the annual assessment and the return on investment survey.  Attending a community exchange, Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) regional conference, or other certified training by IMS fulfills the other portion of the assessment process.

In addition to the re-certification process, the information and feedback collected from this report provides OCRA with the information needed to develop the most effective strategy for our team to provide your organization with the best technical assistance and programming.  

If you want to know what questions to anticipate, click here

If you have questions about completing the report or need other assistance, please contact your Community Liaison, a map can be found on our website.


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