Main Street Lite

Rural communities face unique challenges. At the Wyoming Business Council, we work tirelessly to find new ways to increase the capacity of rural communities, building on the unique character and needs of each community.

The New Main Street Lite program is one of those tools.

Wyoming Main Street is an economic development tool embracing revitalizing of our historic districts, bringing life back into the center of our community, encouraging commerce and a place for residents and visitors alike to socialize and shop.

Some towns do not have the staff, the time or the money to invest in the Wyoming Main Street program yet, so the Wyoming Business Council created the Main Street Lite Program. All towns can benefit from the principals and resources of Wyoming Main Street.

The new Main Street Lite Program has three levels. Completing each level is not a requirement, but this is a roadmap to help your community be successful. Once you master each of the levels, we invite you to apply to become an Aspiring Main Street Community.

The Wyoming Main Street program is founded on incremental, continuous change. It's about starting small and building capacity as you go.

To that end, we've created a list of 52 small ideas to begin developing your downtown into a thriving commercial district. Browse the list and pick as many ideas as you like and begin implementing them. Ask a few friends or other community members to help choose and implement an idea and build from there. Check out our list of 52 Small Ideas for Big Change in Your Downtown.

As you start executing some of the small ideas from Level 1 you may discover downtown has the winds of public support blowing in its sails. Take advantage of this opportunity to bring more people and energy downtown.

Start with a placemaking training in your town.

Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspirations, and potential to take an underutilized area in the community and turn it into a space people want to be in. Placemaking is not just about beautification, it’s about the making of the space – getting community input into what they want to see in their community, gaining support for a project and getting others involved to make the space.

Placemaking training will help build support and involvement in the community. After the training you will have a network of various stakeholder to help, a public engagement plan and a plan for a project in your community. Placemaking is a lighter, quicker, cheaper way to build both community support and a great project.

Visit our Wyoming Placemaking page to learn more.

 

You've notched wins - some small, and some big - and you're making downtown believers out of your neighbors. Now might be the time to formalize your efforts.

To prepare your community to enter the Wyoming Main Street program you'll need to:

·        Have a designated five-member volunteer steering committee, with a point person/chair.

·        Host a Placemaking Training/Project in the community (in Level 2 or 3).

·        Illustrate interest on the behalf of businesses and citizens for the revitalization of downtown.

·        Illustrate how the city and county government recognizes the importance of downtown as an asset to the community.

·        Host/attend a Main Street 101 Training Session.

·        Turn in a short Checklist/Progress Update every 6 months.

In exchange for all that work you'll receive:

·        ½ day SOAR Analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations & Results).

·        ½ day Action Planning or Strategic Doing session(s) (More than 1 available as long as progress is made).

·        Main Street 101 Training Session (potentially virtual).

·        Opportunity to attend Monthly Wyoming Main Street Leadership Calls.

·        Opportunity to attend (potentially virtual) Wyoming Main Street Webinars and training sessions.

·        Opportunity to be a part of Wyoming Main Street initiatives.

·        Main Street America Membership paid for 1 year (may be eligible for a second-year membership if complete all items on checklist). This membership includes access to all toolkits and resources of Main Street America.

·        Limited scholarships are available for National Main Street Now Conference and Wyoming Best Practices Workshop (Competitive Application).

 

The Main Street Lite program comes with increasing funding opportunities as communities make their way through each level of the program.

·    ·       Microgrants up to $1,000 (level 1)

·       Free Placemaking Workshop (Level 2)

·       Placemaking grants up to $2,000 (level 2)

·       Free Main Street 101 training, Free SOAR Analysis, Free Action Planning, Free Board training and other Main            Street Opportunities (Level 3)

·       Free Main Street America Membership for up to 2 years (Level 3)

·    ·       Microgrants up to $2,500 (level 3)