Value & Support of Illinois Main Street

Value of Illinois Main Street
Why Support Your Local Main Street Program

2014 IL Main Street Directors' Winter Retreat

Upstairs Downtown Illinois 2014

Intro (PPT)

Case Studies and Incentives (PPT)

Downtown Neighborhoods (PPT)

Financial Assessment (PPT)

Assessment (PPT)

2013 Illinois Main Street Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Community Revitalization

Press Release (PDF)

2013 Illinois Main Street Conference

"Making the Connection Between Local Foods and Main Street"

Presenter: Catherine Dunlap, Associate Director of the Green Economy Initiative, Heartland Community College

Presentation (PDF) | Resource List (PDF)

“Your Program’s Strategic Plan … Yes, You Need One!”

Clearly, the Main Street Four-Point Approach provides a comprehensive approach and a tactical structure for community revitalization. But, it’s just one-half of the organizational planning equation. Achieving the vision of truly vibrant downtown districts requires that Main Street programs regularly and collectively step back, evaluate their progress and reset the bar. Join Tom Clark of VERDAE Group to learn how an annual intra-organizational strategic planning process can build efficiencies, boost volunteer engagement and maximize programmatic impact.

Presentation (PDF)

“Invigorate Your Main Street with a Community Conversation”

Main Street is a perpetual work in progress. Communities small and large, fledgling and flying are challenged to continually assess their unique economic and cultural landscapes, scanning for opportunities to enhance their individual service districts. It’s a big job and one that cannot be undertaken successfully by Main Street alone, rather through collaborations with like-minded local and regional partners. In this session, Tom Clark and Lisa Wogan of VERDAE Group break down the nuts and bolts of their firm’s asset-based Community Conversation model of strategic planning, using as a case study an examination of 20 years of premier grassroots downtown development via the Illinois Main Street program.

Presentation (PDF)

“Care and Handling of an Executive Director”

The executive director exercises a critical role in building and sustaining a Main Street program. This roundtable discussion is designed to assist volunteer board members to work more strategically with their lead staff member. Questions of role definition, accountability, evaluation and communication will be examined through case studies and simulations. Through use of a critical path method, key milestones in an executive director’s career, from on-boarding through professional development to questions of succession and transition, will be considered.

Presentation (PDF)

“The Downtown Merchant Next Door: Economic Gardening with Business Plan Competitions”

Entrepreneurs drive Main Street. The “grow from within” Economic Gardening model is based on the idea that each community largely has the talent that it needs to support a vibrant and sustainable commercial marketplace. Sometimes, however, that talent needs a gentle nudge. Join Lisa Wogan of VERDAE Group as she presents the particulars of establishing, funding, promoting and administering a local business plan competition that will identify and develop prospective downtown merchants. Kankakee County’s business plan competition, “EnterpriseU,” serves as a case study

Presentation (PDF)

Illinois Main Street Webinar Series

Don't Forget the Kids

Presentation (YouTube) | Tuesday, July 30 | 1:30 PM

Volunteers? Future resident? One-day entrepreneurs? Does your program engage children in all it has to offer? A town that is fortunate to have a successful Main Street program should not have its under-21 population complaining about nothing to do. Learn ways of building relationships with children and their families to help build a stronger Main Street. Presented by Todd Tracy.

There's an App for that!

Presentation (YouTube) | Thursday, July 25

Whether it be an iPhone, an Android, a tablet, or a host of other trendy gadgets, it’s increasingly important to engage downtown visitors on their technology. Learn what tools are out there to sell Main Street and its businesses in cool, creative, techy ways. Presented by Todd Tracy.

Pop Up! Pop Out!

Presentation (YouTube) | Wednesday, June 26

Is your downtown prepared for businesses “popping-up” one day, then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later? Pop up businesses, while small and temporary, can build up interest in products and brands, allowing a company to test the waters with their customers. Having space for this type of activity is an often underserved economic restructuring tool. Learn ways of incorporating this concept into your Main Street. Presented by Todd Tracy.

Are you ready for entrepreneurs?

Presentation (YouTube) | Wednesday, June12

Is your downtown prepared when the entrepreneur visits? Does your program have readily available tools to help the entrepreneur make investment decisions? This webinar will give a checklist for making your Main Street Entrepreneur Ready! Presented by Todd Tracy.

Playing hide & seek with volunteers

Presentation (YouTube)

Nationwide, volunteerism is down. When a few are expected to do it all, the result is burnout. Finding and keeping new volunteers is a must for any Main Street program. This webinar will give participants fresh ideas and renewed confidence to collect a new batch of volunteers. Presented by Todd Tracy.

Historic preservation financial incentives

Presentation (YouTube) | Thursday, May 23

Whether it’s the 10%, 20% or 50% credit, each is a financial tool available to building owners and developers who rehabilitate existing buildings. The webinar will present introductory information regarding each credit including example scenarios for their utilization. The status of the state tax credit will also be discussed. Presented by Darius Bryjka.

Importance of historic designation

Presentation (YouTube) | Wednesday, May 15, 1:30PM

Listing on the National Register of Historic Places is a gateway towards state and federal rehabilitation tax credits. Only a small portion of Illinois Main Street communities have National Register downtown districts, and those that do are old and in need of updating in order to provide incentives to more developers and property owners. This webinar will break through the myths surrounding the program and present facts, advantages and disadvantages (if any) of pursuing a listing in the National Register. It will also make a case for the listing as a project that should be undertaken by the local Main Street program. Presented by Darius Bryjka.

How do you know that event was successful?

Presentation (YouTube)

Successful Main Streets host a diverse amount of events throughout the year. Local residents venture out of their homes, families from the next town over stop by, and tourists come from hours away. But, how do we know who they are? Where did they come from? How many? How much money did they spend? Join in this training to learn effective and easy ways to collect this information and use it to benefit the Main Street program. Presented by Todd Tracy.

Lies, damn'd lies, and reinvestment statistics

Presentation (YouTube) | Tuesday, April 30th

Main Street programs have earned a reputation as one of the most powerful economic development engines in the nation. Reinvestment statistics are the ONLY tool the National Trust Main Street Center and Illinois Main Street have to make a case for the local program successes. Learn how to use these statistics to sell yourself better to your stakeholders. Presented by Todd Tracy.

Facebook MBA

Presentation (YouTube)

We are all on Facebook. We use it, read it, and generally spend too much time with it. Using Facebook effectively to drive traffic to your website, engage consumers, and promote brands takes focused effort. Simply throwing up information and hoping it sells itself is becoming increasingly difficult. Learn ways to turn Facebook into a true business tool. Presented by Todd Tracy.

2012 Illinois Main Street Conference, September 13-14, 2012 in Quincy, Illinois

2012 Lieutenant Governors Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization | Press Release

TIF 101 - Download

Finding & Writing Grants - Download

Zoning & Planning Tools to Create A Vibrant Downtown - Presentation | Handouts

Utilizing Technology on Main Street - Download

Think Like a Downtown Property Owner - Download


Annual Gifts, Sponsorships, & Fundraising Events - 3.28.12

Donna Ann Harris, Principal, Heritage Consulting, Inc.


Illinois Main Street Four-Point Overview: Organization - 1.24.12

Darius Bryjka, Partner, IN(ALLIANCE)

Video | Powerpoint

Illinois Main Street Four-Point Overview: Design - 1.24.12

Darius Bryjka, Partner, IN(ALLIANCE)

Video | Powerpoint

Illinois Main Street Four-Point Overview: Economic Restructuring - 1.10.12

Todd Tracy, Partner, IN(ALLIANCE)

Video | Powerpoint

Illinois Main Street Four-Point Overview: Promotion - 1.10.12

Todd Tracy, Partner, IN(ALLIANCE)

Video | Powerpoint

Reporting Reinvestment Statistics & Google Groups Listserve - 12.13.11

Todd Tracy, Partner, IN(ALLIANCE)

Video | Powerpoint

2011 Illinois Main Street State Conference

2011 Illinois Main Street Award Winners


Awards Presentation


Presentation Downloads

Developing Effective Partnerships within Your Community

Dr. Edward Piatt, NE Senior Account Manager, DCEO Regional Outreach


Diane Williams, Director, Business Districts, Inc.

Download 1

Download 2

Social Media on Main Street

Tonya Hudson, Executive Director

Download 1

Download 2

Jason Pawlowski, Promotion Coordinator, Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin

Getting the Brand Right

Carolyn Dellutri, Executive Director, CTP, CMSM Downtown Evanston, Illinois


From Vacant to Full: Using a Business Incubator to Fill your Downtown

Mim Evans, Executive Director, Genoa Main Street, Inc.


The Map to Success: Utilizing GIS Mapping as an ER Tool

Travis Brown, Executive Director for the Historic Quincy Business District

Joye Dell Baker, Floodplain/GIS Specialist for Adams County

Patrick Poepping, President of Poepping, Stone, Bach & Associates, Inc.


Diversify Your Revenue Sources

Donna Ann Harris, Principal, Heritage Consulting, Inc.

Download | Link

Leveraging State & Federal Resources to Enhance Your Community

Tim Milam, Highway Planning Manager, Illinois Department of Transportation


Charlotte Anderson, President, InAlliance LLC


The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Anna Margaret Barris, Project Designer, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Anthony Rubano, Project Designer, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Darius Bryjka, Principal InAlliance LLC


Creating Child Friendly Downtowns

Carol Dyson, AIA Senior Preservation Architect, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency