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Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

OCRA > Indiana Main Street > 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

Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach

The Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach involves:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Economic 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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