FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3/3/2014
​Izabela Miltko, DCEO, 312-814-2384
Dave Roeder, DCEO, 312-814-6015

 Illinois Main Street “open for business”

Downtown Revitalization Workshop to be Held Tuesday, March 11th in Jacksonville

​Jacksonville, IL – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) along with Jacksonville Main Street and the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University will host a Downtown Revitalization Workshop at Hamilton's-Fireside Room at 110 N. East Street in Jacksonville, Illinois. The program is part of Governor Pat Quinn’s ongoing effort to revitalize central business districts throughout Illinois.

The workshop entitled, “Growing the Businesses You Have: Business Retention Strategies,” will focus on how downtown businesses can compete, grow, and if necessary, reinvent themselves to succeed on Main Street. Both retail shops as well as food and beverage outlets will be discussed.

 “Illinois Main Street communities work to strengthen our downtowns and promote grassroots economic development,” said Governor Quinn. “These workshops are important occasions for people to trade ideas and learn new tools, all to spur local reinvestment.”

Some of the questions that will be answered include:
 
  • Who is competing with your downtown businesses and what can you do about it?
  • Are your downtown businesses hurting or helping themselves?
  • What makes a downtown business successful?
  • What strategies work for assisting downtown businesses?
  • How can tired businesses and vacant storefronts be revived?
In Illinois, 42 communities hold the Illinois Main Street designation. DCEO administers the Illinois Main Street program. These communities work collaboratively to strengthen our state’s economy. In 2013, the program yielded nearly $46 million in private investment. Most of the private investment was allocated to new construction, building rehabilitation and buildings sold. The public sector investment was about $11 million in items such as streetscape projects and streetlights as well as sidewalk and infrastructure improvements. Within these areas, 161 new businesses merged, creating 301 full-time and 367 part-time jobs.
 
Nationally, Main Street communities and their local programs have created nearly 915,000 jobs and represent public and private reinvestment of over $48 billion.
 
To register for the Downtown Revitalization Workshop, please contact Mim Evans at The Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University at Mevans@niu.edu. Each participant will receive a Certificate of Completion from Northern Illinois University for continuing education credit.
 
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Background
 
Illinois Main Street is an historic preservation-based economic development program that applies the comprehensive Main Street Four Point Approach® to the revitalization of Illinois’ downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Main Street approach focuses on four key tenets: Organization, Design, Promotion, and Economic Restructuring.
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