Via the Georgia Downtown Assocation: Spring is well underway and so is planning for the 2023 Georgia Downtown Conference! We hope you are planning to join us in Canton, August 21-24, 2023. Applications are now available to begin submissions for education sessions. All submission proposals need to be received by April 28th. Visit the GDA website here for applications and additional conference information. As always, contact me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-244-0511. Can’t wait to see you in Canton!
GDA Now Accepting Session Applications
The GM on Main Street Grant Program has awarded six $25,000 grants to nonprofit organizations and municipal government entities to implement innovative placemaking initiatives in their local districts. Made possible by General Motors, this grant program prioritized applications that were place-making focused, innovative, inclusive, feasible, and replicable or easily scalable for other Main Street programs. Congratulations to Little Five Points on receiving in East Atlanta on receiving this grant!
T-Mobile just revealed the names of 25 more American small towns that will receive Hometown Grants to jumpstart vital community projects, including Cedartown, GA! Created to help local communities move forward on projects that build on the strengths that have always made them great places to live and work, Hometown Grants are inspired by the unique sense of place and deep pride that is so much a part of every small town. T-Mobile works with the National Main Street Center to determine recipients. View press release here.
Main Street America recently announced Macon has completed more historic preservation tax credit projects than any other community in the nation. According to Main Street America’s “Mapping Main Streets” project, 69 historic tax credit projects have been completed in Macon’s Main Street district, which aligns with the Central Business District in downtown Macon.
Historic tax credits have been the single most transformative financing tool for the revitalization of Macon’s urban core. Qualifying income-producing properties are eligible to freeze their property tax value at the pre-improvement rate for 8.5 years and can receive 25% of their qualified rehabilitation expenses, or QREs, as a state income tax credit and 20% of their QREs as a federal income tax credit. These savings incentivize locals to purchase and rehabilitate eligible historic properties using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties, ensuring Macon’s historic commercial district and neighborhoods retain their character and charm. Read full story here.
Recently, Downtown Dublin, Downtown Douglas and Downtown Perry were featured in Georgia Trend for their innovative ideas regarding pedestrian safety. “Moving pedestrians safely around downtowns is essential to the economic vitality of Georgia communities.”
Via the National Main Street Center: From the Athens Art Alley to Tybee Island’s Beach Business Bootcamp, Georgia Main Street communities have been creating and reinforcing downtown recovery through the support of the Georgia Main Street Innovation Grant Program, made possible through generous support from The Williams Family Foundation of Georgia. This program provided five Georgia Main Street Program communities $10,000 each last fall to help fund innovative revitalization efforts to address the current and/or legacy impacts of COVID-19.
A year after receiving their grants, we caught up with the five grant recipients—Downtown Athens, Georgia, City of Tifton, Downtown Thomasville, Georgia, Tybee Island Main Street, and Downtown Valdosta Main Street—to learn more about their creative and out-of-the-box ideas around COVID-recovery. In this week’s Community Spotlight, learn more about the winning ideas and their progress thus far: https://bit.ly/38TUjgZ
The Georgia Main Street program announced Cartersville, Monroe and Athens will be added to the list of cities that hold the designation of a Georgia Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) community.
The staff of the Office of Downtown Development with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs attended the recent council meetings of each city to relay the mission of the Georgia Main Street program and the significance of the GEMS recognition.
GEMS cities represent some of the best Main Street Programs offered by the state. These Main Streets “have gone above and beyond expectations by making a strong and positive impact in their communities while utilizing the Main Street Approach,” according to Jessica Reynolds, the director of the Office of Downtown Development. Reynolds congratulated Cartersville, Monroe and Athens on their “commitment to excellence and stable leadership” that led to this designation. Over the past three years, each community has seen millions of dollars in private and public investment, with an emphasis on new businesses and job creation.
The additional GEMS communities are Acworth, Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus, Dahlonega, Dublin, Greensboro, Madison, Milledgeville, Moultrie, Newnan, Rome, Statesboro, Thomasville, Tifton, Toccoa and Valdosta.
The Georgia Main Street program announced Acworth and Dublin are newly designated Georgia Exceptional Main Street communities (GEMS), joining only 15 other communities across the state that hold this accolade.
The staff of the Office of Downtown Development with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs attended the December council meetings of each city to relay the mission of the Georgia Main Street program and the significance of the GEMS recognition.
GEMS represent some of the best Main Street Programs offered by the state. These Main Streets “have gone above and beyond expectations by making a strong and positive impact in their communities,” according to Jessica Reynolds, the director of the Office of Downtown Development. Reynolds congratulated each community on the “commitment to excellence and stable leadership” that led to this designation. Over the past three years, each downtown has seen millions of dollars in private and public investment, with an emphasis on historic preservation, business development, and job creation.
The additional GEMS communities are Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus, Dahlonega, Greensboro, Madison, Milledgeville, Moultrie, Newnan, Rome, Statesboro, Thomasville, Tifton, Toccoa and Valdosta.
From the National Main Street Center: We’re thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the Future of Shopping Small Grant Program. American Express and Main Street America have teamed up to provide 10 small business owners $10K each to help their businesses innovate in the evolving retail landscape. The program is intended to support small businesses across the country that have demonstrated new approaches to traditional business strategies and those businesses looking to try out creative techniques, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial districts. Grant recipients should demonstrate commitment to both their local community and principles described in American Express’ Future of Shopping Small guide. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2020.
Click here to apply online.
From learning on the go to Main Street 201 deep dives 2020’s Training Calendar has a little bit of something for everyone! Check out the links below for registration details, agendas and the cost for each workshop.
Mobilize Main Street:
Main Street 201: Strategic Planning Workshop
Want to learn more? Check out our online webinar about the 2020 Training Calendar:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s almost Small Business Saturday — the annual holiday shopping tradition that gets communities everywhere out in support of their favorite small businesses. Held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday will fall on Nov. 30th this year. Click here to visit the Shop Small Studio to receive downloadable materials, how-to videos and more.
To help get the word out, we created this video as a resource for our Georgia Main Street communities during the Shop Small season. When sharing, please don’t forget to use the hashtags #shopsmall and #gamainst as well as tagging our Facebook and Instagram handle (@gamainst). Happy shopping!
The Office of Downtown Development is excited to announce the addition of Matthew Dean to our team as Community Design Specialist. Matthew studied landscape architecture at UGA’s College of Environment & Design while working for DCA as a graduate assistant where he developed an interest in urban design. Currently, he and his wife, Maddison, reside in Commerce, GA.
We are also excited to announce the addition of Tara Bradshaw as Economic Development Specialist. Tara served as Main Street Dublin Director from 2012 to 2017 and was appointed Executive Director of Dublin DDA in February 2017. During her tenure, Dublin saw 19.6 million in private/public investment with the creation of 160+ new jobs. Tara will continue to live in Dublin with her husband Matthew and are devoted to creating a place their two young children, Maggie Claire and Lane, will be proud to call home.
The Office of Downtown Development is excited to be bringing you a variety of new training opportunities in 2019. The workshops offered will include but are not limited to:
Mini Main Street 201- ”Beers, Brews and Business Development”
February 26th in Greensboro, GA
Cost: $35 per person, all tiers
Mini Main Street 201- ”Conquering the Diversity Divide”
June 11th in LaGrange- GA
Cost: $25 per person, all tiers
Annual Leadership Summit
July 23 & 24th in Valdosta, GA
Cost: $200 GEMS, $250 Classic and $275 Affiliate
Mini Main Street 201- ”Funding Main Street”
September 17th in Brunswick, GA
Cost: $25 per person, all tiers
*When registering , if asked to enter an eligible discount code please use the code ”GEMS” for GEMS designated cities and ”Classic” for Classic Main Street designated cities. All Affiliate or all other non-designated registrants need not enter any additional information.
Register today for Mobilize Main Street! Our brand new learning on-the-go tour will take place in Toccoa, Athens and Madison on May 15 & 16th. The cost is $300 for GEMS*, $350 for Classic Main Streets* and $375 for Affiliate* or Non-designated registrants. Cost includes one night stay at Hotel Indigo on the evening of May 15th, transportation to Toccoa & Madison from Athens and all meals for both days.
Main Street 101 is now live and online! Main Street 101 has been re-imagined as a completely online, interactive experience designed to walk you through the Main Street 4- Point Approach from start to finish. Utilizing Prezi, a presentation software that uses motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to relay information, this interactive guide was developed by the Georgia Main Street Program Staff and is a complimentary resource available to all Georgia cities. Here the fundamentals of the Main Street program have been broken down here in to a four part series providing you the viewer with videos, links and visual resources, to help you better retain the information presented.
Georgia Main Street: Leadership Summit
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:00 AM – Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Downtown LaGrange Courtyard by Marriott
A Main Street Director. A board member. An elected official. A volunteer coordinator. A parent. Whether you’re one of these things or all of these things, one thing remains true: You are a leader. But where are you on your leadership journey, and where do you go from here? This question exists at the heart of so many leaders. Everyone wants to know where they stand and how to get to the next level. And you are probably no different! This is why John Maxwell developed the 5 Levels of Leadership paradigm.
Certified to teach John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership, here at the Office of Downtown Development is is our goal to help you, as a community leader, understand and increase your effectiveness. Leadership is about growth – for yourself, your relationships, your productivity, and your people. To lead well, you must embrace your need for continual improvement, and the 5 Levels provide a leadership GPS to help you with your journey. You must know where you are, to know where you’re going. Otherwise, as the Cheshire Cat told Alice, when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.
The cost to attend this workshop is $300. These fees will go to cover the cost of the space rental, breakfast, breakout session snacks and the 5 Levels of Leadership classroom materials. The materials alone retail at $199.00.
When registering please enter your communities designation level to view applicable discount rates:
Affiliate- $25 dollar discount
Classic- $50 dollar discount
GEMS- $100 dollar discount
The Georgia Main Street Program has created a New Manager’s Handbook as a resource for both new manager’s and board members as they navigate their way through the world of Main Street. From strategic planning to historic preservation and from the four points to financial assistance this handbook will provide readers with an overview of how you too can utilize these resources to your community’s benefit.
Vibrant Communities Grants are available from Georgia Council for the Arts. These grants, available for up to $5,000, are for organizations in counties in which no one received a Project, Partner or Arts Education Grant from GCA earlier this year. (A list of eligible counties is in the guidelines). Local governments (cities, counties and local authorities), non-profits, schools, colleges and libraries are eligible to apply to support arts projects such as murals, performances, festivals, exhibits, etc. Guidelines can be found here: http://gaarts.org/grant-funding/apply-for-a-grant/available-funding
Deadline is Aug. 31, 2017.
Introduction to the Vibrant Communities Grant
The Georgia Legislature allocated funds to Georgia Council for the Arts specifically to increase the reach of arts grants across the state. These grants are intended to fund arts programs in as many counties as possible. Some examples of projects that could be funded by the Vibrant Communities grant are concerts, theatre productions, class fieldtrips, art exhibits, murals, art festivals, or art classes. Please note: The Vibrant Communities grant is a reimbursement grant. This means that if you are awarded the grant, you have to start spending money on the expenses and then request reimbursement. You will not receive the grant funds before you incur expenses.
Timeline for Vibrant Communities:
August 31, 2017- Deadline for application
Late September, 2017- Applicants are notified whether or not they received an award
October 15, 2017- Grantees may begin working on projects
Mid-October, 2017- Deadline for grantees to return grant contracts and required forms
Mid-Oct. 17′-May 18′- Grantees may submit a Request for Reimbursement form
June 1, 2018- Project must be completed and Final Report is due.
For more information, contact Tina Lilly, GCA Grants Director at email@example.com or