In November 2016 The Nipawin Business Improvement District Inc was awarded the Accreditation for the Main Street Saskatchewan Program, Please watch this Video explaining the Main Street Program and How successful other Accredited Communities were.
"Main Street is the glory of Canada. If a community has no heart, it has no soul; and its heart should beat faster at the core. For here is the glory of the past, the symbol of stability, the structures that our fathers and their fathers erected, the visual reminder of another time that gives every small town a sense of continuity.”
Pierre Berton, Reviving Main Street.
An attractive, prosperous downtown is vital to the economic well being and quality of life of the entire community:
• Downtown is an important shopping and service centre for the community.
• A large number of a community’s jobs are located downtown.
• Downtown properties account for a large portion of the municipality’s tax base. Higher downtown assessments lessen the need to raise property tax rates.
• Downtown buildings and infrastructure represent a vast amount of prior public and private sector investment.
• Downtown is a prime location for social, cultural and entertainment activities.
• An attractive historic downtown is powerful branding and marketing tool for attracting tourists, new residents and new businesses.
• A historic downtown embodies a community’s heritage, and shapes its identity and unique sense of place.
• An attractive, prosperous downtown is a source of civic pride that conveys a message of optimism and confidence in the future to residents and visitors.
Main Street is a comprehensive, community-driven, and proven approach to revitalizing historic downtowns and commercial areas - the traditional centres of business and cultural life in communities. These areas feature businesses, buildings, people and events that underpin a community’s aspirations and values and make it a unique place to live, work and play. Conserving and capitalizing on the unique assets and strengths of communities promotes pride, improves quality of life and helps ensure that these areas continue to serve as vibrant hubs of commercial and cultural activity.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach is based on four cornerstones of activity that are implemented in a coordinated and integrated manner:
- Community Organization focuses on bringing community residents, merchants and other Main Street stakeholders together to work towards a common goal. This involves establishing a volunteer governing board and standing committees both supported by a paid program coordinator.
- Economic Restructuring means strengthening the existing economic base while developing ways to diversify and expand the local economy by introducing new compatible businesses and building uses. Key to the Main Street Approach is working with other economic development organizations to recruit new businesses to support, nurture and retain existing business owners and to develop initiatives and programs that respond to current and future consumer needs.
- Design/Heritage Conservation involves creating an inviting, pedestrian-oriented downtown for people to shop, work and play. This is achieved through physical improvements and installations such as lighting, landscaping, sidewalks and displays that create a positive and attractive image of the commercial district. Central to this approach is rehabilitating historic buildings and encouraging new construction that is sensitive to the area’s heritage character.
- Promotion involves creating awareness of Main Street assets through a combination of special events, business-enhancement promotions and marketing initiatives. The goal is to create and enhance the perception of the commercial district as a hub of commercial and cultural activity and as a viable place for consumer and business investment.
(adapted from National Trust for Historic Preservation)
The Main Street Approach follows eight guiding principles:
- Comprehensive: Individual improvements, name-brand business recruitment or promotional events will not revitalize Main Street by themselves. An integrated, comprehensive approach involving each of the four cornerstones mentioned above is essential for successful, sustainable and long-term revitalization.
- Incremental: That “Rome was not built in a day” rings true for Main Street programs. Successful revitalization begins with basic, simple activities that show “new things are happening” on Main Street. As public confidence in the downtown grows, and participants’ understanding of the revitalization process develops, the community can tackle increasingly-complex projects. Incremental change leads to longer-lasting, positive change.
- Self-help: Successfully injecting new life into Main Street requires community involvement and commitment. Local leaders are in the best position to mobilize local resources and talent, foster pride and convince business owners of the rewards of investing in Main Street.
- Partnerships: The public and private sectors must work together to achieve the common goals of Main Street revitalization. Each has a vital interest and role to play and each must understand the other’s strengths and limitations to forge an effective partnership.
- Identify and Capitalizing on Existing Assets: Business districts must capitalize on the assets that make them unique. Every district has distinctive buildings and cultural facilities that give people a sense of belonging; these are central to any successful revitalization effort.
- Quality: Quality should be the focus of every aspect of a revitalization program, from storefront designs to promotional campaigns to educational programs. Shoestring budgets and “cut and paste” efforts will only reinforce a negative image of Main Street.
- Change: Engage in better business practices, alter ways of thinking and improve the area’s physical appearance. Main Street programs turn skeptics into believers and will turn attitudes around, though perhaps slowly at first. Public perceptions and support for change will build as Main Street programs grow and meet goals.
- Implementation: To succeed, Main Street must show visible results in the completion of projects. Frequent, visible changes are a reminder that the revitalization effort is successfully under way, creates confidence in the Main Street program and encourages ever-greater participation.
In their first year of participation, all Accredited communities receive a one time $25,000 matching grant to support development of the Community Vision and Work Plan that will guide the implementation of their Main Street program.
Three additional matching grants can be accessed on a competitive basis:
- Main Street Capacity Building Grant: provides funding for projects that enhance knowledge and skills related to the Main Street Four-Points, such as training, creating inventories of heritage and cultural resources, and researching and planning studies. Both Accredited and Affiliate communities are eligible to apply.
- Main Street Heritage Conservation Grant: provides funding for the rehabilitation of historic buildings in the Main Street program area, including assessments and feasibility studies related to proposed conservation projects. Only Accredited communities are eligible to apply.
- Main Street Community Enhancement Grant: provides funding for projects that improve the appearance of and/or enhance visitor experience in the Main Street program area, such as compatible alterations to non-historic buildings; public realm improvements such as sidewalks, street furniture, lighting, landscaping and signage; public art installations; and event hosting. Only Accredited communities are eligible to apply.