Indiana Main Street encourages community-driven revitalization of downtown areas in Indiana cities and towns. The people who make up the Main Street network are passionate advocates, dedicated volunteers, influential stakeholders, and community organizers who work every day to turn the tide in their communities - catalyzing reinvestment, creating jobs, and fostering pride of place.
Main Street-style transformation is a combination of art and science: communities first need to learn about the local economy, its primary drivers, and its regional context (the science), but they also need to convey that special sense of place through storytelling, preserving the older and historic structures that set it apart, broad and inclusive civic engagement, and marketing (the art). To support this powerful network, the National Main Street Center has a revitalization framework – the Main Street Approach - that helps communities leverage both the art and science of downtown revitalization to create a better quality of life for all.
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.
Read the Indiana Code establishing Indiana Main Street.
Indiana Main Street Program Guide
The Indiana Main Street Program has recently published a program guide to assist communities that wish to form a Main Street organization and to provide guidance and best practices for established Main Streets. You can download the guide below:
Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach
The Four Point Approach involves:
Organization involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district.
Promotion positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases a community's unique characteristics.
Design supports a community's transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart.
Economic Vitality focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.
Indiana Main Street Program Levels
The Indiana Main Street Program accepts applications for three levels. A brief description of each level is below:
- Nationally Accredited Main Street (NAMS): Organizations currently meeting all Main Street Accreditation Standards.
- Indiana Accredited Main Street (IAMS): Organizations currently meeting the Indiana Accreditation Standards.
- OCRA's Downtown Affiliate Network (ODAN): Organizations working to build capacity to execute the Main Street Four Point Approach, or groups who prefer to specialize in event-related activities only. Members of ODAN may also be those who are working the Main Street Four-Point Approach but do not meet the qualification for OCRA’s definition of Historic Preservation Ethic and/or Fabric. Members of OCRA’s Downtown Affiliate Network must meet the ODAN Criterion Standards.
Download more information on all three levels by clicking here.
Indiana Main Street communities are eligible to apply for some exclusive grant programming through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. This can include but is not limited to…
*Not all grant programs are available to OCRA’s Downtown Affliate Network (ODAN) members.
Main Street Revitalization Program (this grant is currently suspended) – Offered through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the goal of this grant is to encourage communities with eligible populations to focus on long-term community development efforts. This can take the form of business creation, increased tourism, historic preservation, and other economic revitalization efforts.
PreservINg Main Street (expected to return in 2023) – Offered through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, PreservINg Main Street is a multi-faceted community development program designed to build a sustainable historic preservation community ethic, build local capacity for local Main Street programs, and serve as a comprehensive downtown revitalization model.
Other grant programs may be available in the upcoming year.