Monday, June 22, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - June 22, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Calendar June 22 – 26, 2009
MONDAY Cary, Caroline, Mark – El Dorado (technical asst. with merchants & merchant meeting)
TUESDAY Caroline – West Memphis (business incubator meeting)
WEDNESDAY all staff – grant training & “Big Check” photo with Governor
THURSDAY Nancy – annual leave
FRIDAY Cary – ACE Nonprofit meeting, LR, afternoon; Nancy & Susan – annual leave

Various Press from MS Programs
Demolition Wrong Answer For Imperiled Neighborhoods
Google Local Business Center
MP3 of Opening Plenary of International Markets Conference
3 Grant Opportunities
Hope VI Main Streets Allocation Coming Soon
Why Certain Cities Attract Generation Y
Free Press Release Analysis Tool

Students Work with Main Street Russellville

Main Street Texarkana Press

Main Street El Dorado’s MusicFest Headliners Announced:

MS Hardy, Others, Participate in the Welcome to Arkansas Program

Demolition a Wrong Answer For Imperiled Neighborhoods

Google Local Business Center
- have businesses in your downtown signed up on Google Local Business Center? Visit

MP3 of the Opening Plenary of the International Markets Conference

Click here to download audio for the Opening Plenary of the 7th International Public Markets Conference!
Listen to Sibella Kraus, Founder and President of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE), David Smith, Director of Markets for the City of London, and Jordi Tolra i Mabilon, Director of Communications for the Barcelona Markets discuss the role of markets as a catalyst for stimulating regional food systems. Moderated by Michael Krasny, KQED Public Radio.

Grants Enhance Company Communities Worldwide
FedEx Social Responsibility Program
The mission of the FedEx Social Responsibility Program is to support the communities the company serves, including international locations, through charitable contributions, in-kind shipping services, and volunteer services of employees. The company's core giving areas include: Emergency and Disaster Relief, Pedestrian and Child Safety, Education, and Health and Human Services. FedEx is especially interested in supporting organizations that request 5% or less of the total project budget, contingency grants, or seed monies with the expectation that other sources will contribute matching amounts. Priority is also given to organizations where FedEx employees volunteer. Requests may be submitted at any time. Visit the company's website to review the grant criteria and the online application process.
Note – Pedestrian Safety category could be used for a number of downtown projects.

Bank of America Accepting Applications for Neighborhood Excellence Initiative
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is accepting applications for the Neighborhood Builders and Local Heroes components of its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. In 2009, the foundation will allocate a total of $20 million globally to the initiative, which is designed to recognize, nurture, and reward organizations, local heroes, and student leaders helping to strengthen and revitalize their communities in forty-five of the bank's major markets.
The Neighborhood Builders program provides $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding in addition to leadership training for two local nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant neighborhoods.
The Local Heroes program provides recognition of five community heroes whose achievements and leadership on local issues contribute significantly to neighborhood vitality. Recipients direct a $5,000 contribution to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.
(The 2009 deadline for the Student Leaders program has passed.)
Program guidelines, list of eligible markets, and applications are available at the Bank of America Foundation Web site.

Link to Complete RFP

BICYCLE SAFETY Bikes Belong Coalition
Application Deadline: The Bikes Belong Coalition reviews applications on a quarterly cycle. Please see Web site for upcoming deadlines.
Description: The Bikes Belong Coalition is sponsored by members of the American Bicycle Industry. The coalition's mission is to encourage more people to use bicycles.
Funding Amount: Applicants can request up to $10,000. In very limited cases, Bikes Belong will consider amounts over $10,000. Requests of over $10,000 will generally be viewed unfavorably unless the applicant has an extremely compelling case with a proposal of unique or national importance.
Who May Apply: The coalition welcomes grant applications from organizations and agencies within the United States that are committed to putting more people on bicycles more often.
The Bikes Belong Grants Program funds projects in two categories: facility and advocacy. For the facility category, Bikes Belong will accept applications from nonprofit organizations and from public agencies and departments at the national, state, regional, and local levels. For the advocacy category, Bikes Belong will only fund organizations whose primary mission is bicycle advocacy.
For more information, go to:

It is almost that time again—when HUD releases its application for Hope VI Main Street grant funds. This program makes grants to support the creation of affordable housing in Main Street settings. This year’s application (the Notice of Funding Availability, or NOFA) has not been released yet but if past years are any indication, it should be posted online around the first of July.
So now is a great time to get the process started. The first step for anyone interested in applying is to register or update/renew your registration with, a process that can take approximately 2-4 weeks. This is a requirement for all applicants.
Wondering if you qualify for funding? The basic eligibility requirements for the program are:
• Must be an official unit of local government
• With a population of 50,000 or fewer, and
• Have 100 or fewer physical public housing units in its jurisdiction that are administered by a public housing agency for HUD.
We will send out an announcement as soon as the NOFA is released but in the meantime, visit for guidance on the program (based on past NOFAs), especially the Main Street Program Summaries link.

Why Certain Cities Attract Generation Y

by Timothy Lee, Associate Extension Specialist, UALR Lead Center
HubSpot Internet Marketing Company has developed a free online analysis tool for grading press releases. HubSpot's Press Release Grader evaluates your press release and provides a marketing effectiveness score. This score is based upon basic factors from public relations experts including the language and content of the release, plus advanced factors from Internet marketing experts such as links and search engine optimization characteristics. Press Release Grader is part of, a family of tools that helps measure all that matters in modern marketing.

The tools require that you cut and paste the content of your press release. (You can paste content from Microsoft Word or from a web page). Add your company name, website, and an email address and the toll will grade your press release and email you a detail analysis.

A free six-minute Overview Video of Press Release Grader is available on or on the tool submission form at:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - June 15 - 19, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Calendar June 15 - 19, 2009
TUESDAY Cary - Osceola, Rotary keynote
WEDNESDAY Mark & Susan - Rogers; technical assistance with merchants; Cary - LR (CDI & ACDS Meetings)
THURSDAY Mark & Susan – Rogers; technical assistance with merchants
FRIDAY Greg – annual leave

National Main Street Center responds to’s iReport on Main Street
Pine Bluff Downtown News
Helena: City of Soul
Eureka Springs Downtown Network/Walking Tour Press
Adobe Products for Non Profits
Charitable Giving Declines in the US
Grant Opportunity
SE Tourism Society – Top 20 Events Publication

National Main Street Center responds to’s iReport on Main Street
- if you haven’t looked through these iReports, they’re worth your time. It’s hard to find time to read them all, but glance through them. A number of MS programs submitted information, as did other citizens. I sent this out via the Main Street & Coordinators listservs, Twitter & Facebook when it appeared & while it didn’t quite go viral, our ‘movement’ got our $.02 in.

Pine Bluff Downtown News

Helena: City of Soul

Eureka Springs Downtown Network/Underground Walking Tour Press:

Downtown Rogers Clean-Up

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Charitable Giving Declines in the US
“Even with the steep drop, charitable giving remained strong. Last year’s giving outstripped all previous years on record except 2007, though the outlook for next year remains uncertain”
- also keep in mind that no small reason for this is the steep drop in endowments due to market issues, thus limiting the distribution of major gifts. Still 85% of funding to non-profits comes from individuals

Community Programs in North America and Australia Supported
Foster's Community Grants
Foster's Community Grants, a program of the Foster's Group, a global company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, provides support to nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada, and Australia for community-building projects. Grants are offered in the following focus areas: wellness, including both physical and mental health; culture, including artistic, sporting, and educational activities; and the environment, including all aspects of the natural environment. Online applications will be accepted from June 1 through July 6, 2009. Visit the company's website to review the program guidelines and selection criteria.

SE Tourism Society – Top 20 Events Publication

Since 1985, the Southeast Tourism Society has published the Top 20 Events publication. Through a nomination process, the society chooses the Top 20 events going on in the Southeast for each month of the year, and publishes this list of winners quarterly. This publication is sent to over 300 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, and others, as well as 125 AAA publications. The combined circulation runs into the millions. Current Top 20 Events are listed online at

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is a member of the Southeast Tourism Society. As a result, festivals and events in Arkansas may be submitted for the Top 20 Events publication, if they meet the following requirements set forth by the Southeast Tourism Society:

• 1,000 in attendance
• 3rd year in existence
• Payment of $10 nomination fee per event

Top 20 Events strongly encourages you to strengthen your nomination by providing supporting material such as:

• Photos
• Posters
• Brochures
• Press Releases
• News Clippings
• Volunteer Programs

Deadlines for Applications:

Event Occurring In: Submit by:
January/February/March 2010 July 10, 2009
April/May/June 2010 October 9, 2009
July/August/September 2010 January 8, 2010
October/November/December 2010 April 9, 2010
January/February/March 2011 July 9, 2010
April/May/June 2011 October 8, 2010
July/August/September 2011 January 7, 2011

If you would like to nominate your event, contact the Tourism Development Section at (501) 682-5240 or e-mail kristine.puckett at

Monday, June 8, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - June 8, 2009


Main Street Arkansas Calendar June 8 – 12, 2009
Caroline – vacation Tuesday – Friday
MONDAY Susan – ill
TUESDAY Cary, Morrilton (board training); Susan, South Main (working with merchant)
THURSDAY Susan, Mark – Helena (working with merchants)
FRIDAY Susan, Mark – Helena (working with merchants)

IN THIS ISSUE: iReport on Main Street
Downtown Rogers Planning Press
Paragould Board Member Profiled
Rector Preservation News
Gov Beebe Cover Story of this month’s Governing Magazine
Free DVD on Community Based Planning
Social Networks Are Hot, Websites, Not So Much
Local Stimulus Plan
Federal Office of Urban Policy Not Out of the Gate
Complete the Streets Webinar iReport on Main Street

Main Street(s), USA
Main Street, USA. It's a term we use to mean regular America, the part of the country that represents the towns and families and small businesses that make up the heart of the nation. Here at CNN, we're using the term "Main Street" as a lens for investigating the real impact of the economic downturn across the country.
But "Main Street" is also the name of very real streets all over the country, 7,000 of them, in fact, according to the U.S. Census.
Is there a Main Street where you live? We want to see it. Together, let's build a map that tells the stories of Main Streets across the nation.
Here's how you can take part:
• Find a Main Street near where you live, or the street in your town that best represents the idea of "Main Street." Share a picture or video of it.
• Tell us about it. Is it a business district? Home to the town center? Lively or quiet?
• Take a look around: Do you see signs of a troubled economy? What businesses are surviving? Which -- if any -- are thriving?

Downtown Rogers Planning Press:

Paragould Board Member Christy Williams Profiled:

Rector Preservation Story:

Governor Beebe is this month’s Cover Story in Governing Magazine (yes, I read Governing Magazine)

Take Action: Get a free DVD about community-based planning!

Courtesy of our generous friends at the National Charrette Institute, we are offering the first 500 respondents this free DVD with the story of how citizens of three communities are shaping their futures -- for the better -- and how the system of meetings known as 'charrettes' made it possible.
This DVD places you into key moments within a seven-day charrette in East Fort Myers, FL. Hear what participants are saying before and after the charrette and witness how the team takes a project from a blank canvas all the way to a developed plan. The DVD also tells stories from Ocean Springs, MS -- following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina -- and Providence, RI.

Register here to receive your free copy.

Social Networks Are Red Hot, Web Sites Are Diddlysquat

Local Stimulus Plan (thanks to Boomtown Institute for this one)
- “Danny Cottrell gave each of his full-time employees $700 and part-timers $300. He asked them to donate 15 percent to charity and spend the rest locally, particularly downtown” He gave the money in $2 bills so spending could be tracked.

Federal Office or Urban Policy Still Not Out of the Gate

Complete Streets and Context Sensitive Solutions
Webinar – Thursday, June 11, 2009, 2 pm EST and the Federal Highway Administration are pleased to present a free webinar on June 11, 2009, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST. The webinar will discuss the role of Complete Streets in creating safe and efficient transportation options for all users.
The 1.5-hour webinar will include Complete Streets design and implementation strategies, plus an interactive Q+ A session and opportunities to download essential Complete Streets and CSS materials. The webinar will also provide an overview of the Federal Highway Administration's perspective on Complete Streets, including what federal programs and policies are available to support communities in their Complete Streets efforts. The presenters will also review the accelerating adoption of Complete Streets policies and laws across the country.
The webinar can be accessed here:
On the login page, enter as a guest by typing your full name and clicking the "Enter Room" button. Please login to the conference at least 10 minutes prior to the start time to secure your space.
Teleconference Number to Access Audio Portion:
Passcode: 4847493
Prior to the meeting, please make sure that you have the necessary Flash Player plug-in installed on your computer. To test your machine, click this link, which should also provide links to the software:
For a short tutorial on how to participate in a web conference, please visit: If you are unable to access this link, you may need to install Flash Player (see directions above).
For more information, please contact Aurash Khawarzad at We regret that we are not able to provide professional development credits for this event.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - June 1, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Calendar June 1 – 5, 2009
MONDAY Susan – Sheridan (Window Display Workshop)
TUESDAY Susan – Searcy (TA with merchants)
WEDNESDAY Cary – Rural Development Conference, Hot Springs, panelist; Greg, Heber Springs (
THURSDAY staff planning – out of the office
FRIDAY Caroline – annual leave

CNU Video on Sprawl
Crawfordsville on Facebook
Good Rogers & MSA Press
Malls are Dying
AR Sm. Biz & Micro Lending Report
Nominations Sought for Volunteer Community of the Year
2 Grant Opportunities
NMSC Looking for Help

Congress for New Urbanism Video on Sprawl (highly recommended)

Welcome to Facebook, Hometown Crawfordsville:

Good MS Rogers (and MSA) press

Malls are Dying (we knew this)
- Today’s trivia: What was the last mall opened in America? – Turtle Creek in Jonesboro

AR Small Business & Micro Lending Report
(pdf document)

Nominations Sought for Volunteer Community of the Year Awards

Each year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Volunteerism partners with the Governor’s Office and the Arkansas Municipal League to sponsor the Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year Awards. Nominations for the 2009 Community of the Year will be accepted beginning July 1, 2009. The nomination deadline is September 30, 2009.

Twelve communities throughout the state will receive recognition for their volunteer efforts. A committee of citizens who represent a cross section of the state population will select winning communities. The awards will be presented at the Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference.

Recipients of the 2008 awards were Bay, Bella Vista, Bryant, Clarkridge, Clarksville, Crossett, El Dorado, Fort Smith, Heber Springs, Marked Tree, Maumelle, and Van Buren. Volunteers in these communities donate thousands of hours yearly toward supporting on-going activities and needs of their fellow citizens.

For a nomination form or more information, visit the DHS Division of Volunteerism’s website:, or contact Rebecca Burton, DHS Division of Volunteerism, P.O. Box 1437, Slot S-230, Little Rock, AR 72203, or call 501- 682-7540.

Grant Opportunity
The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation will award research grants of up to $25,000 to mid-career professionals who have an academic background, professional experience, and an established identity in historic preservation or related fields including, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, architectural history, and the decorative arts.

The Foundation will also grant the Richard L. Blinder Award, a biennial award of up to $15,000 for the best proposal exploring the preservation of an existing structure, complex of buildings, or genre of building type for use for a cultural purpose.

To learn more about both awards, go to
Applications must be postmarked by September 16, 2009.

Preservation Grants for Libraries and Museums

Institute of Museum and Library Services: American Heritage Preservation Program
The purpose of the American Heritage Preservation Program, an initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in partnership with Bank of America, is to fund the preservation of treasures held in small and mid-sized museums, libraries, and archives throughout the U.S. Grants of up to $3,000 are available for the purpose of preserving specific items, including works of art, artifacts, and historical documents that are in need of conservation. Projects in the following areas are eligible for funding: treatment of library, museum, and archival collections; improvement of collections storage; and environmental improvement of collections. The application deadline is September 15, 2009. Visit the IMLS website to download the grant guidelines.

From the National Main Street Center
With your help, I will bring back the special edition of Christmas in July Network Notes for Main Street News. Does your community have innovative, successful, wild, wacky, unique, (insert other adjective that goes beyond "the usual") retail or special events that bring visitors and customers to your Main Street? Have you figured out how to do something particularly well? Have you used new media to tie in to your holiday promotions? Has your program designed particularly stunning promo pieces? Do you have a secret for getting merchants to stay open late for holiday shoppers? Has your committee developed a great shop local for the holidays campaign?

Please email me (Andrea_Dono at directly a paragraph description or news articles of what your program has done to make Main Street festive and/or lucrative during the biggest shopping season of the year. I just need to know the basics right now - who, what, when, where, why, how. We will print the best ones in the July issue of Main Street News as well as post them online.

Winter holiday promotions other than Christmas that you produce are welcomed as well.