In Downtown Bedford, we are looking to join a program called Main Street Ohio. Main Street is geared towards revitalizing Historic Downtown areas. It is a non-profit group that is run by Heritage Ohio (which is run by the State of Ohio) in an effort to help save historic Downtowns across the state. Several local communities, like Kent and Lakewood, have used this program successfully to revitalize their Downtowns.The idea behind the program is that they come in, craft a plan for the target city and then provide tools, advice and information while the city is working through the plan. This part of the this group’s purpose is very important. They don’t just make a plan and give it to you, never to be seen again. They help you with every step and facet of the plan.
Beyond this, this group can act as an organizational group that can work to make the wants and needs of the businesses Downtown better heard as well as making sure that the Downtown area businesses are better marketed.
The initial assessment by this organization costs $5000. The Main Street program’s financial philosophy is that it should be funded by 3 different and equal sources – 1/3 local and county government, 1/3 donations, 1/3 fundraising through locally geared events and products.
We are starting to gather money from these 3 sources to start this. In the meantime, we would love to hear both positive and critical comments about how people feel about using this program. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SPEAK FREELY. I really want to make sure that we hash out any issues before we officially move forward with this (or another program if it is decided that there is another one that would work better).
Here is the presentation about the Main Street program: