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Vitality Team

Economic Vitality strengthens a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.  The Main Street program helps sharpen the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today's consumers' needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. 


Typical Economic Vitality Committee work plans might include, but is not limited to the following:


  • Work with area colleges or SBDC to develop retail management classes.

  • Building inventory.

  • Establish financial incentive programs to stimulate private investments.

  • Track and analyze how the community’s demographic changes may affect Main Street.

  • Identify sources of small business development and property rehabilitation financing.

  • Visit nearby towns to identify potential business prospects.

  • Develop a list of the commercial district’s property owners to solicit their participation.

  • Hold a meeting for area realtors & bankers and tell them about the Main Street Program.

  • Survey downtown businesses; ask about their customer base and trends.

  • Develop color-coded maps to show how each building in the district is used.

  • Develop a business recruitment/expansion packet.

  • Bring in a business consultant to work one-on-one with Main Street business owners to strengthen their operations and marketing strategies.


Economic Vitality Team Five Major Responsibilities:

  1. Learning about the district’s current economic condition and identifying opportunities for market growth.  Use population census & census of retail trade, state sales tax reports, and market analysis information.

  2. Strengthening existing business and recruiting new ones.  Resist the temptation to jump in and begin recruiting the new businesses right away.  It is wiser to help businesses that already have a foothold in your district expand first.

  3. Finding new economic uses for traditional Main Street buildings.  To remain viable, most traditional commercial districts need to attract new uses for space once employed for other purposes.  Those might include:  housing, small-scale industry, offices, entertainment, etc.

  4. Developing financial incentives and capital for building rehabilitations and business development.  Study financial needs and identify possible sources of funding.  Work with financial institutions, bonding authorities, statewide revolving funds, CDBG, etc.

  5. Monitoring the economic performance of the district.  Keep track of monthly changes in Main Street jobs, businesses and property investment.  Conduct an annual business survey to measure changes and compile an annual report summarizing the net changes in jobs and businesses in the district.

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