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Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

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Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

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Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

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Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

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People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities

November 6, 2018 | District Spotlight: Pontiac, Michigan | By John Bry, Principal Planner of Oakland County Main Street Program Coordinator |
38207434_681783215517867_8109126102863052800_n.jpg

Phoenix Derby Races by Roy Aikers

Pontiac, Michigan, has been recognized by Main Street Oakland County as a Main Street community since 2002. Like its nearby sister cities of Flint and Detroit, the city was largely built upon the auto industry and suffered through a devastating financial crisis that left the city bankrupt. When Pontiac began to emerge from bankruptcy, millions of dollars of investment poured into downtown district. Yet, due to a lack of resources and direction, Main Street Pontiac (MSP) struggled to capitalize upon the resurgence.

In response, UrbanMain and Main Street Oakland County joined forces in March 2018 to assist Pontiac stakeholders in putting their downtown organization back on a positive track, making Pontiac the first community in Michigan to participate in the UrbanMain initiative. In less than a year, the results have been impressive and a new board representing broad segments of the community and key stakeholder groups has been seated.

With funding support from Main Street Oakland County, UrbanMain outlined four key transformation strategies – Health and Wellness, Tech, Arts and Culture, and Makers -- based on market analysis and existing downtown assets including a hospital, fitness centers, breweries, performance venues, and a haunted house attraction. Another key goal was to strive and reconnect the residents of Pontiac back to their downtown, which many residents felt they had lost.

In less than a year, Main Street Pontiac:

  • Launched a downtown run and partnered with walk clubs and local gyms.
  • Created a STEAM oriented derby race initiative in partnership with General Motors that awarded scholarships to local students.
  • Rallied multiple organizations and over 40 volunteers to create the inaugural "Hauntiac" -- celebrating all things Halloween.
  • Re-established a facade grant program.
  • Garnered support partners to launch a downtown security program.
  • Served as the coordinating body for a business support grant program through Flagstar Bank that has invested hundreds of thousands dollars into new and existing businesses.

The organization is also developing a partnership with the Eastern Market in Detroit to create an incubator kitchen for entrepreneurs and healthy food access options. As the community revives and retools its historic core, the downtown Pontiac revival is well underway.

Interested in receiving UrbanMain news and updates? Email mainstreetnews@savingplaces.org with the subject line "Subscribe to UrbanMain." We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter.