Illinois Main Street: Downtown Development
Resources for Illinois Main Street Communities
Illinois Main Street is a downtown revitalization program based on the National Main Street Four Point Approach. Illinois has participated in the Main Street program since 1993. There currently are 41 Main Street communities in Illinois. The program is administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Please visit the Illinois Main Street Website for more information.
Illinois Main Street provides local Main Street organizations with technical support including training, conferences, site visits and on-line resources. IMS has contracted with the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University to assist in providing support to local programs. A variety of resources can be found on this page, including upcoming events, material from past workshops, examples of best practices, models and templates for local projects, and sources for data and information.
Creative Enterprises and Downtown Prosperity
The creative economy is one of the most talked about topics in downtown development. What it includes and how to incorporate it into economic growth planning and downtown revitalization are discussed in the resources listed below. For additional information contact Mim Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Norm Walzer, email@example.com.
The Creative Economy and Downtown Workshop
Speaker Biographies (pdf)
Illinois Main Street contracted with the Center for Governmental Studies to prepare a report on the status of the Main Street program at the state and local level. All Illinois local Main Street organizations were surveyed to obtain information on their organizations, performance, needs and districts. This information was combined with group discussions and research on best practices in other states to arrive at options for the future of Main Street in Illinois. An executive summary and the full report are available below.
The new CGS Policy Profile The Back to the City Movement: Will It Help Illinois' Smaller Cities outlines what your small city can do to capture growth in residents, businesses and revenue generated by renewed interest in urban lifestyles. Read it here.
Training and Events
Illinois Main Street is hosting a new series of workshops for local Main Street staff and volunteers, city staff and officials, economic development professionals, chambers of commerce and others interested in downtown revitalization. The workshops are held around the state throughout the year. Click on the upcoming events below for information on topics, dates, and locations. For information on past workshops, click on the past events below to read about the workshop and download material from the workshop. Workshops often sell out so advance registration is recommended.
There are many ways to host and manage farmers markets and many resources available to help start or grow an existing market. On Friday, January 29, CGS will host a workshop at the NIU Holmes Student Center that will explore these topics in addition to looking at how SNAP and WIC can be implemented in your market, how to better manage your market, what farmers think about markets, and much more. As a special treat, the workshop will include one of the initial screenings of the new documentary, Think Globally, Eat Locally. Click here for workshop material.
Project Development from Start to Finish
September 23rd, 2014, Macomb, IL
Local Main Street organizations carry out a wide range of programs and projects requiring specialized knowledge and resources. This toolbox contains tools that Main Street executive directors and volunteers can use to assist downtown businesses, carry out downtown improvement projects, provide information for residents and visitors and run their own organizations effectively. Some of the tools can be downloaded and posted on local websites. Others can be linked to local websites. New tools will be added over time. Visit the Main Street Toolbox.
Illinois Main Street Communities Contact Information
Need to reach a local Main Street organization? Find contacts for every Illinois Main Street organization here.
National Main Street Conference 2014 Session Presentation
For additional information about the Illinois Main Street Program, please contact:
Center for Governmental Studies, NIU
Senior Research Scholar
Center for Governmental Studies, NIU