Main Street Hub Communities

Offered through regional “hubs” and delivered in partnership with Oregon, Washington, and Idaho State Main Street coordinating programs, this year-long training and technical assistance program for Main Street communities, or those considering the Main Street approach, provides a foundation in core elements of economic vitality enhancement, direct support for action planning, resources, and technical assistance to support your team in moving to action and network building to sustain your efforts in the long term.

2021 Hub Hosts:

  • La Grande
  • Milton-Freewater
  • Ontario

Hubs serve communities in the surrounding region, including communities on both sides of state lines. Workshops and work sessions will be held virtually throughout 2021 until in-person meetings become possible.

This program aims to strengthen the “economic vitality muscles” of Main Street organizations in your immediate region, which serve a critical role for small business entrepreneurs that local economies need now and into the future. We aim to bring together a network of Main Street leaders to think, learn, question, plan, and build fundamental skills for economic revitalization. We’ll cover topics from business engagement to place-based economy building and will work together to imagine new ways to navigate new challenges, develop entrepreneurial thinking, and foster a culture of innovation in times that require it.

Workshops and work sessions are aimed at developing understanding building local leadership. Targeted support and technical assistance will help you translate theory into practice, move to action, and build deeper relationships throughout your regional economic ecosystem.

Your Commitment

Participation in the Main Street hub is especially encouraged by Main Street economic vitality committee members, board members, and staff, along with municipal staff, elected officials, and economic vitality champions from your community.

There is no fee to participate, but we do ask that your Main Street organization commits time to participating in all workshops, work sessions, and collaborative team work necessary to develop or revise your economic vitality plan. 

To maximize the benefit of this technical assistance to your community, we ask that:

  1. At least two members of your economic vitality team or representatives from your community participate in the full complement of workshops and work sessions outlined below.
  2. We also ask that your local economic vitality team commit to completing “homework” together between monthly workshops, and work together to complete or refine your Main Street economic vitality plan. 

2021 Main Street Economic Vitality Hubs Schedule

  • January: workshop and work session scheduling, community recruitment
  • February–June: (5) 2-hour virtual economic vitality workshop sessions, with a work session and economic vitality committee team homework in between. Economic vitality workshops will be held monthly; topics include:
    • Economic Vitality 101: Introduces asset and values-based approaches to economic vitality, and the importance of network building with your regional economic development “ecosystem” for addressing the complex challenges in our communities
    • From Numbers to Action: Understanding how to find, interpret, and use secondary data to inform your initiatives and business support efforts
    • Business Engagement: Approaches and strategies for gathering actionable primary data to inform and expand economic vitality initiatives and business support efforts
    • Place-Based Economy Building: Understand how working with your local assets and gaps in mind could inform entrepreneurship and business retention, expansion, and attraction strategies to keep wealth closer to home
    • Fostering Innovative Communities: Introduces models of innovation hubs that your community might consider, the importance of fostering innovation, and ecommerce and community marketplace options that would serve small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • July–September: (3) 2-hour action planning training and technical assistance and resource roundtable workshops, with action planning work sessions and support to draft your action plan
    • Action planning and resources workshops will be held monthly and will focus on understanding all the pieces that go into regular planning and prioritizing, and support to put all the pieces together to craft or revise your team’s goals, strategies, and activities that will guide Main Street economic revitalization efforts in uncertain and critical times. A round-table highlighting technical assistance and resources available to support your efforts and the needs of your business community will be held with regional partners following planning workshops.
    • September–October: (1–2) 2-hour energy planning workshops; ongoing action planning support
    • November–December: (1) 2-hour Capital Resources Summit, to support identification of funding resources that can advance your economic vitality priorities

We may also ask for your participation in a multi-media storytelling and peer learning effort throughout the year. Stay tuned!