The Power of Main Street! Part 2 of 4

Marshall celebrates the Blues!

We continue our 4-part series about Main Street communities throughout Michigan.  This time, we take a look at Marshall’s success.

In June 2003, Marshall’s already successful downtown took an important step forward toward a vision of comprehensive revitalization with its new Michigan Main Street designation. One of only four communities in the State to receive the competitive grant selection in 2003, Marshall’s downtown and its businesses received three years of training and technical assistance to accomplish their revitalization goals.  They have been in the program ever since and are now a Master Level community and reached accreditation through the National Main Street Center.

Marshall’s Story  (Michigan Main Street 2010 Report)

Marshall Main Street continues to make progress in revitalizing and sustaining long-term economic stability for Marshall’s central business district.  This year, the design committee identified a ‘Top Ten’ of downtown buildings needing design services and facade improvements.  Working with Michigan’s state historic preservation office and the Michigan Main Street Center, their design committee met with several of the ‘Top Ten’ building owners and they now have two buildings taking advantage of the design services offered by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and Michigan Main Street.

The promotions and organization committees partnered to take their signature special event – the Marshall Blues Festival-to the next level and evolved it into a fundraiser for the Main Street program.  Using Michigan Main Street’s technical/training services for an educational workshop on sponsorships, organization committee members launched a sponsorship program for the Blues Festival. A successful first-year campaign raised $7,000 in cash sponsorships, and an additional $3,000 of in-kind sponsorships.  This resulted in a profitable festival that raised a net $5,000 for downtown programs; and an event that brought an estimated 7,000 people to downtown Marshall for a memorable blues experience.

The economic restructuring committee partnered with a community bank to offer special low-interest loan programs for downtown building acquisitions and/or rehabilitation projects.  With the backing of businesses and residents, volunteers and financial supporters, Marshall Main Street celebrates their accomplishments and the promise of more good things to come. Learn more about Marshall’s Main Street program at:

Since Marshall has been in the Main Street program they have:

  • accumulated over 13,267 volunteer hours
  • Created 15 new businesses
  • Expanded 6 existing businesses
  • Created 35 new full-time jobs
  • Improved 49 building facades
  • private investment totaling $759,164
  • public investment of $735,023
  • total of $1,494, 187 in downtown investment

(Resource provided by the Michigan Main Street Center.

The Michigan Main Street Center is a program of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and contracts with the National Main Street Center based in Washington D.C.    The National Main Street Center began in 1980 in three communities and has grown to over 2000 communities in 43 states.  Michigan started the Main Street program in 2003 and in eight short years has quickly grown into one of the most highly respected and successful programs in the Nation!

Interested in helping Saline become a Michigan Main Street community?  Click on the ‘Join Us’ tab!


About Route '12 to Main Street

Route '12 to Main Street is sponsored by the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance (SHDA), a new non-profit entity focused on the revitalization of Downtown Saline for the benefit of the entire community. SHDA, with the support of the City of Saline and the EDC, is applying to become a Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center. It is a competitive process and over the next seven months, volunteers are working hard to prepare for the application process by educating the community, recruiting volunteers and gaining support. Benefits to become a 'Selected' Main Street community through the Michigan Main Street Center program are 5 years of technical training, design services, and increased public awareness for our community. Benefits of having a comprehensive Downtown revitalization strategy are even more, and we will be talking about these advantages in upcoming blogs.

Posted on October 14, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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