Breathing new life into downtown | NevadaAppeal.com

Breathing new life into downtown

Staff Report

A presentation on the National and Nevada State Main Street America programs is slated for Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at the Fallon Theater.

Many communities from sea to sea have been revitalizing their downtown by breathing new life into at the main core of their towns or the places residents call home.

The Small Business Development Center and Churchill Economic Development Authority are offering a free presentation on both the National and Nevada State Main Street America programs on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at the Fallon Theatre.

The presentation features Kathy LaPlant, senior program officer and director of Coordinating Program Services. She brings almost 25 years of experience in working on the Main Street field and provides training for cities of all sizes using the Main Street Approach to revitalizing downtown areas.

According to information provided by CEDA and the SBDA, the Nevada Main Street is a holistic approach to Main Street revitalization that involves aesthetics, business creation and retention and housing and how they will lead to healthy and economically vibrant communities. Furthermore, a successful local NMS programs involve residents, governments, businesses and property owners working together.

The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a community-driven approach to revitalizing downtowns and traditional neighborhood commercial districts. Initiated in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street provides a framework for communities to address the full range of issues and challenges facing their traditional commercial districts. This four-point framework involves local work in the following areas:

Organization: creating of a well-run, sustainable non-profit organization that operates the Main Street program locally;

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Promotion: promoting and marketing the Main Street district through special events and festivals, business promotions, and overall image development;

Design – improving of the downtown's physical environment through historic preservation, building renovation, facade improvements, public spaces, amenities, and infrastructure; and

Economic Positioning: implementing economic development of the Main Street district, including identification of existing and potential market opportunities, business retention, business recruitment, creation or assembly of financial assistance tools, and property development.