Main Street

Thank you to our 2018 Track Sponsors:


Session One: Tactical Innovation for Small and Rural Towns

In this engaging session Deb will illustrate how other communities are using Innovative Rural Business Models to bring more businesses to their community. She will share about the Empty Building Tour and how one town used The Tour to fill 10 of 12 empty buildings.  You’ll learn how to gather your crowd, to build connections and take small steps to implement your big ideas in your small towns.  This session with national small town and rural  expert Deb Brown, will energize you to go home and get right to work!

Deb Brown

Session Two: Community Driven Main Street Events with Lasting Economic Results

How can one event, one festival, create lasting positive effects on a town serving the larger rural community? In this session, panelists will discuss specific models proving the importance of community driven events that enhance a town far beyond a few days. Events and festivals discussed will provide ideas and inspiration to invigorate rural downtowns in your area and beyond. We are calling this the Main Street Renaissance!

Jay Robert Allen, Jen Risely, Paul Shea, Ron Redmond

Session Three: Historic Buildings as a Catalyst for Downtown Vibrancy

Why is it so important to save and use historical buildings in rural downtown/ village centers?  Attendees in this session will learn from real life examples of rural communities that have taken historical buildings that act as the brand and foundation of their community’s economic well-being, having spent the time and energy to save, help, and or use their historic buildings to bring vibrancy and character to their town.  Paul Bruhn will share the importance of determining what is right for your community while maintaining a vibrant downtown and intentionally securing places that serve the entire population.  There is no one size fits all – bring your downtown building problems to this session!

Paul Bruhn, Gretchen Havreluk, Lyssa Papazian, Bob Stevens

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners