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Michigan Main Street Program Provides Economic Boost for Participating Communities


DETROIT, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The economic benefits of the Michigan Main Street Center were unveiled during the National Main Streets Conference, the country's leading downtown revitalization conference in Detroit today. Speaker Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics, a Washington D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm, shared the positive news with an ...


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DETROIT, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The economic benefits of the Michigan Main Street Center were unveiled during the National Main Streets Conference, the country's leading downtown revitalization conference in Detroit today. View photo. Speaker Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics, a Washington D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm, shared the positive news with an engaged crowd of about 1,300 city planners, community revitalization professionals and volunteers participating in the conference at the GM Renaissance CenterThe event, co-hosted by the National Main Street Center and the Michigan Main Street Center at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, started Sunday and runs through Tuesday. "In the past decade, Michigan has seen the ups and downs of the national and state economy," Rypkema said"Through it all, its historic downtowns -- with the support of the Main Street program -- have persevered and prospered. "The words Main Street may evoke images of warm summer nights at a downtown festival, but they also should signify real return on investment and renewed community commitment." The report combined analysis of 10 years of quantitative data with onsite, qualitative research and showcased compelling stores of the comprehensive impact of the state's Main Street programAmong the findings, Michigan Main Street communities have outperformed other communities in the state during the most recent economic downturn. That news didn't come as a surprise to Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. "This research only reinforces what communities throughout Michigan have known for years: Main Street works," Frey said"Even during our nation's greatest recession, Michigan Main Street districts saw twice as many new businesses open than the national averageThat speaks to the power of the Main Street approach, which is focused on energizing downtowns by building on what makes them unique." "The study shows the Michigan Main Street program is accomplishing its mission of helping communities use their historic downtowns and neighborhoods as an effective vehicle for economic development," GovRick Snyder said"These are the types of activities we need to encourage to keep the momentum moving forward in Michigan." Communities that were part of the study included: Blissfield, Boyne City, Calumet, Clare, Grand Haven, Hart, Howell, Iron Mountain, Ishpeming, Manistee, Marshall, Midland, Muskegon, Niles, Old Town Lansing, Otsego, Owosso, Portland, Saline, Scottville and Wayland. "Michigan has never had a study of this magnitude to help us understand the true impact of the Main Street program and preservation-based economic development," MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley said"It's an indicator that thriving downtowns don't just happenThey occur when there is a shared vision and a sense of identity that communities large and small work together to revive their downtowns." Rypkema's analysis of the economic impact of the Michigan Main Street program includes several key findings: Since the beginning of the program, for every $1 invested in the Michigan Main Street Center, the Michigan districts have seen downtown building investment of $67 For every $1 invested in the Michigan Main Street Center, localities provided $16 in public improvement investments Since the beginning of the program in 2003, 250 net new businesses have been established and over 1,300 net new jobs have been created in Main Street districts Throughout the most recent recession, Michigan Main Street districts outperformed the national average with more than twice as many businesses opened than closed In the last 10 years, over 250 buildings have been purchased in Main Street districts Rehabilitation and façade projects in Main Street districts have generated an average of 214 Michigan jobs and over $9 million in paychecks every year since the program began Just the improvements to Main Street district buildings have meant an increase in local property tax revenue of in excess of $3 million this year Volunteers play a critical role in Main Street organizationsCumulatively, the value of the hours of Michigan Main Street volunteers totals nearly $8 million To learn about the economic impact study, go to: www.michiganmainstreetcenter.org. MSHDA's Michigan Main Street program assists communities with historic commercial district revitalizationMain Street is a trademarked and

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