We’re looking forward to having you join the HOB team! Learn more about the committees here.

Contact Taylor Carter, our Americorp Vista, to talk more about opportunities for involvement!

Or fill out this volunteer application.


Schedule of Events

Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Winter Wonderland at City Hall
A reception for Winter Wonderland, a community art show celebrating winter. This event will be held at the Biddeford City Hall.

6-7:30 p.m. First Night Sledding Party (shhhhh– not for the kids!)
The grown-ups get the sledding hill all to ourselves! Sleds provided, so just show up for sledding fun on the Adams Street hill (in front of City Hall), followed by the Dirigo after-party! $15 includes sledding, and your first beer at Dirigo Brewing Company at the after party (for those over 21). Tickets are limited for this event, so don’t delay! All proceeds from this event will go back into supporting the mission of WinterFest – including providing hats, socks, and/or gloves for kids in need! Tickets are on sale now on EventBrite!

7:30 p.m. Classic Rock Orchestra
From the creators of last years sold out Piano Men concert, Classic Rock presents songs by Journey, Pat Benatar, Heart, Kansas, Boston and many more!  Featuring a 6 piece band, classical string quartet and vocalists Susie Pepper and Johnny Martinez.  Benefiting Biddeford High School music programs. Learn more at the ClassicRockOrchestra website and get your tickets on the City Theater website now while they last! Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. This event is sponsored by People’s United Bank.

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Winter Fun Time!
Come on out for a FREE day of fun for families in the center of downtown!
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sledding (on Adams Street). Sleds provided by New Life Church!
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Snow Golf & Snowshoeing, provided by Biddeford Recreation Dept.
10 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m. Dog Sled Rides (at 3 Lincoln Street). Free pizza at this event, sponsored by Joker’s! Sled rides sponsored by Biddeford Savings Bank!
1 p.m. Mayoral Welcome, and Honoring John Maxson
1-4 p.m. Fat Bicycle Rides (at 3 Lincoln Street). Free event from Community Bicycle Center.
1:15 p.m. Sub-Zero Ice Carving in City Square. A live demo, building a real thrown you can sit on and more! Come watch the live action!  This event sponsored by Saco-Biddeford Savings Institution.                                                                                                          10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Warming Station (McArthur Library). Drop in for hot cocoa, crafts & games.

New Life Church will also provide pony rides, delicious snacks, hot dogs, and cocoa– plus gloves and hats! All for FREE- Wow!

1 p.m. Broomball Exhibition & Demo, Biddeford Ice Arena
Come out and celebrate one of Biddeford’s favorite pastimes!

5-7 p.m. Glace et Feu, Shevenell Park, 145 Main Street
Our own Biddeford WinterFest version of fire and ice. Gather in the snow, under the warmth of heat lamps, with the live music of BillyBilly, and grab a cup for a cold Banded Horn Beer flowing down the ice luge! Tickets are $25 and include your first beer/non-alcoholic beverage and a Cowbell Burger Bar slider! All proceeds go to benefit the Biddeford Education Foundation. Get your tickets on EventBrite. Event sponsored by TruChoice Credit Union!

7 p.m. Juston McKinney, City Theater
With multiple performances on The Tonight Show, his own Comedy Central specials and consistently selling out theaters, he’s at the top of his game. Tickets are $20 and available on the City Theater website.

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., “LIMB-O,” at Metta & Equilibrium, Pepperell Mill Campus
Laugh, Imagine, Move, Breathe!”“Laugh, Imagine, Move, Breath!” Drop in to the Pepperell Center between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for free adult and children classes (included yoga and zumba and even kid’s limbo!) to be held inside the beautiful Equilibrium and Metta studios! Adults and kids are invited to free, short, fun indoor classes offered by the UNE med students of UNECOM SOMA and Biddeford’s “Thrive” group of alternative health practitioners. Adults can even take a class in one studio while their child takes a class in the other studio! Full list of classes will be posted here soon!

Noon, Super Roll Sunday Fat Bike Ride, Community Bicycle Center
The CBC keeps the fat bikes rolling on Super Roll Sunday, with a ride through Clifford Park! The ride starts at the CBC parking lot at 12 (just like New England’s favorite quarterback) and finishes back at the CBC for some post-ride/pre- game chili afterwards. Kids are encouraged to dress in warm layers and wear their favorite team’s jersey or colors for the ride. Fat bikes are limited so first come first served! Kids can also sign up for this group ride on Saturday at the CBC’s fat bike demo from 1-4 pm on Lincoln Street.

1:30-3 p.m. Indoor Skate, Biddeford Ice Arena
For just $3, come for an afternoon of fun skating!

fyi, Cribbage Tournament will not be occurring during this year’s WinterFest after all. 

From Mayor Casavant’s Jan. 22, 2018 letter to the community.

Parking Garage:
The City Council conducted a workshop this past week to discuss options, plans, possibilities and sites of a public parking garage.  Nothing has yet been finalized, and there is still much to be done before there is any decision.  As you are well aware, I have been a proponent of such a structure for the past six years.  When we first began the dialogue, one could see and project parking issues as more and more development occurred in the downtown and mill area.  The idea was to get “ahead of the curve”.  That did not happen, and today, the situation has worsened, particularly on certain days, at certain hours, during particular events, and during snow bans and emergencies.  A few key points to ponder:
—The plan is to ensure that the debt of the garage is not placed on the property tax mil rate.  Users will pay a daily, hourly, or monthly fee for use of the facility.  It is estimated that if a garage were to open today, between 200 and 300 spaces would be leased immediately.  The money obtained from such leases and varying rates, along with some Tax Increment Financing funds, will pay for the debt.  The Council has been very clear, as have I, that we cannot allow the debt of such a facility to fall onto the mil rate.  
There is no such thing as free parking.  While there appears to be free parking today in our various parking lots and on our streets, the city general fund is paying for upkeep.  Whether you own a car or not, you are paying.  On Main Street, for example, striping, sweeping, plowing, sanding, snow removal, etc., all comes from property taxes.  You are also subsidizing those from out of town who use those spaces, and also subsidizing those who use our lots for their personal parking areas/driveways.  Nothing in this world is free, but the plan, if it is approved, is to ensure parking fairness, and instead of property taxes paying for the various services associated with parking, those who utilize the parking will pay for those amenities.
—In order for a parking garage to be successful, a parking management system will need to be implemented.  This will certainly arouse some controversy, though again, it is a direct corollary to the premise that users pay for public parking.  There will be fees for parking in city parking lots, and the lots will be monitored.  There will also be a readjustment of parking hour limitations on various streets in the downtown.  Some streets, for example, that today are all day parking might become one hour.  Others might be permit parking.  All of this is still being developed and discussed, and the final plan will probably look much different than the plan that is being considered today.  
Because this issue is so complex, final parking changes and pricing will be gradually phased in over a few years.  A key part of this is to provide balance for the needs of businesses in the downtown.  For example, there are some merchants whose businesses thrive on people who are in and out of the door quickly.  In such areas, 15 minute parking in their immediate vicinity might be the proper rule.  In other areas, in order to facilitate shopping from store to store, longer hours of parking would be the norm.
Again, there is much more work that needs to be done on this, and there will be meetings and public hearings in the future.  There are so many moving pieces, and, like a jig saw puzzle, one piece hinges on another.  It is important that we get this “right”.
The city hired an engineering company to evaluate three sites for practicality and pricing.  Those sites included:  Washington Street, land belonging to Pepperell Mills, and the Maine Energy site. There is no perfect site that fits the needs of the entire downtown and mill area.  To satisfy all such demands, more than one garage would need to be built, and there is just not enough money to do that.  We must get the biggest bang for the buck and at the most affordable price for whatever choice is made.
***The Washington Street site is geometrically too small to build a 500 space garage, and there would be no room for expansion.  To build on that site would require a structure that would be 7 stories high, which of course is impractical.  The sole advantage to the site is that it would ease parking congestion in the easterly end of Main Street, but a structure on this site would be extremely costly.
***The Pepperell Mill site has been considered for the past 6 years.  However, the city does not own the site, and there would be a cost, in one form or another, of procuring the site.  The owners have not indicated a willingness to part with that land.  Additionally, underneath the site are aqueducts through which once flowed water that powered the mills.  Their presence would increase the construction cost of any potential garage on that site.  Additionally, I think it would be unwise to destroy or bury those ducts because of their historical significance.  I would love to seem them redeveloped and open to the public at some point in time.  The advantage to this site is that it is fairly central, but the additional costs and the lack of ownership by the city is problematic.
***The Maine Energy site has the advantages of being expandable, being owned by the city, and scored the highest rating by the engineering company.  The disadvantage is that it is more out of the way than the other sites.  Another advantage is that a garage in this area would enhance the value of the Maine Energy site in terms of redevelopment and sale.  A few years ago, a study was done by Camoin Associates who stated that a publicly financed garage on that site would prove more attractive to developers and would increase the value of the property.  However, in order for this site to work, the city would need to obtain easements through the mill district.  These easements would connect the garage to Main Street and the River Walk.  Without those easements, this site may not be possible, as the easements would shorten the walking distance to Main Street.  The city is working with mill owners to secure the necessary paths through the district.
—The vision for the downtown is a series of connections that link the River Walk, the garage, the mills,and Main Street.  The possibilities are incredibly attractive and transformational for the city.  As I mentioned, there are many moving parts in this scenario.  It is like playing 3 dimensional chess as opposed to checkers.  Because of the complexity, there remains much more to be fleshed out.  This past summer, we saw a small glimpse of what can happen with investment and maintenance in the downtown.  We built new sidewalks, installed new lights and crosswalks, paved the street, and added flowers.  Overwhelmingly, the people of Biddeford loved those improvements.  Think of what can happen if we continue that process and tie the mills, the downtown, and the River Walk together in cohesive package!
Parking garages are infrastructure.  They are the same as streets, sewers, lights, and sidewalks.  Many years ago, the city constructed industrial parks, and, in doing so, they built the roads, installed the storm water drains, added the lighting and sidewalks.  The idea was to partner with the private sector by providing infrastructure in return for industrial park tenants.  That formula worked very well, as the debt from the infrastructure was paid back, over time, via taxes.  The garage is no different, as it would be the catalyst for additional development, more new taxes, and more jobs.  The city, in constructing the garage, is investing in the city in order to attract more private sector investment, thus stabilizing the tax rate, providing for additional infrastructure improvements, and creating more jobs.
The stabilization of the tax rate is extremely important in this discussion.  In order to generate revenue, to pay for the many city services, cities rely on the state for such things as revenue sharing, aid to education, and excise taxes.  The city must also follow state law in the application of property taxes.  Because the state, in recent years, has become more erratic in its allowances for funding in revenue sharing, and, at times, in education, more and more of the burden for the providing of services has been forced upon the mil rate.  The crumbling of city infrastructure has added fuel to that fire!  Quite frankly, the state has made many promises to cities and towns that they do not keep, as they are more concerned with controlling their own budget.  The result has been a disaster for service center cities.
By providing infrastructure that is deemed essential by developers, we can encourage full development of the mill and downtown areas, and Biddeford can generate more tax revenue that can stabilize the tax rate for homeowners throughout the city.  The development of the Maine Energy site, the completion of the $65 million Lincoln Street project, the ongoing redevelopment of buildings on the Pepperell Mill campus, and other downtown areas are all part of the new revenue streams that the city will see.  Additionally, because of the rules of supply and demand, properties in the downtown are dramatically increasing in value, which, of course, means more contributions to the city’s tax revenue stream.
Last week, the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) held their annual conference.  City staff was in attendance, and one thing was especially clear:  Biddeford is considered by the real estate experts as being a hot, self-sustaining market.  It is a place in which to invest.  The city was also praised for its working relationships with developers, in terms of the process of planning and code enforcement.  There is more and more interest in investing in Biddeford, and that is a good thing for all of us.
Doing nothing in terms of parking and economic development is not an option.  The Council and I are committed on working to further enhance our city in terms of living, learning, working, and playing.  We hope for your input and support as we move forward, as being part of a community means the investment of one’s time, skills, talents and ideas in the governmental process.
Biddeford Historical Preservation Commission:
The Biddeford and Saco Historical Preservation Commissions have coordinated a series of lectures of various topics of interest to the residents of both cities.  The lectures are from 6 to 8 pm, on the second Thursday of the month. With so many amazing historical treasures still existing in both communities, awareness and preservation is so important.  The remaining lectures are:
Feb. 8, at Pepperell Mill 2 Main St. Biddeford.  Seth Harkness, Doug Sanford and Scott Hansen on Historic Cityscapes and Mills of Saco and Biddeford
March 8, at Biddeford City Hall 205 Main St. Biddeford.  Amy Cole Ives and John Leeke on Analyzing and Repairing Historic Paint and Siding
April 12, at Grange Hall #3 168 North St. Saco.  Betsy Iglehart on Historic Landscapes and Walking Tour
May 10, at Saco City Hall 300 Main St. Saco.  Caleb Johnson on Local and State Impacts of Historic Preservation
Winterfest will be occurring Feb 2, 3, and 4, in the Biddeford Downtown area!  Highlights include the return of Joe Boucher (his Piano Men show of last year was a sell-out) and his Classic Rock Orchestra; the sledding hill; dog sled rides; an adult sledding party; Juston McKinney comedy show; Glace et Felu in Shevenell Park; fat bike rides; pony rides; broomball; skating, and more.  For a full schedule:
This event is very affordable and family friendly, with free hotdogs, hot cocoa, pizza and other treats for kids!  Hope to see you there! It is always a lot of fun.
A special thanks to the following:  The sledding hill at Biddeford WinterFest would not be possible without the following organizations: New Life Church MaineThyng Paving LLCPeters ConstructionDead River CompanyDee Quality Foundations, Larry Patoine Construction, Phil Labbe Excavation & Fashion Floors of Scarborough!!  Their volunteerism and dedication to the event make all of this happen!
Quebec Intern:
Katarie Gaudet-Chamberland, from Quebec City, will be arriving in Biddeford on February 4.  She will be working to better coordinate the Franco-American culture in our city.  Last July, I attended a Francophone Conference in Quebec, and, as a result, I applied for a grant that would pay for the internship.  We were awarded that grant, and Katarie will be working out of the McArthur Library (thanks to Jeff Cabral and Renee Desroberts).  It is our hope that she will be able to connect with the many Franco organizations and individuals, to listen to their histories, and to catalog any artifacts or pictures that they might have.  If you have access to Franco photos or historical objects, please let me know so that you can be part of this process.
As a side note, a huge thank you to Diane Cyr and her tremendous work in pulling together the Biddeford Cultural Center organization.  The group now has tax exempt status and can accept donations of money and objects.  The ultimate goal remains to have a physical space to exhibit the many artifacts that exist within the city, and to highlight our diverse cultural roots.
As always, should you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to contact me!  Have a pleasant evening.

Spring will be here soon and what better way than getting directly involved in beautifying your local community? Heart of Biddeford  in concert with the City has an “Adopt a Park” program, and we’re  always looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to help us care for our 12 urban parks.

Individual volunteers, neighborhood groups and local businesses donate hundreds of hours each year for cleanups, plantings, weeding and other essential projects that help our parks thrive as centers for relaxation and recreation for the whole community.

You are in the perfect position to provide valuable service to your neighborhood while nurturing your connections to the community. No experience required, Biddeford Adopt a Park is here to provide guidance and support to anyone interested in helping us with our mission.

For more information about how you or your organization can adopt a park, or just volunteer occasionally, please contact Taylor Carter, an Americorp Vista serving through the Heart of Biddeford. 

Riverwalk – *adopter pending

Mechanics Park- *adopter pending

Liberty Park- Union Church

Shevenell Park- Leah Schaffer

315 Main- McArthur Library

Cannon Plaza- Holly Culloton

Washington Street School Park- Joan Brooks, Holly Culloton

Canopy Park-

Pierson’s Lane Playground & Garden- Holly Culloton, Master Gardeners Project

Foav Court-

Williams Court- Joshua McCauley

Clifford Park- Catherine Glynn and Friends of Clifford Park

Here’s the first installment of #SeeingOrange, a blogpost about construction in the downtown between (approximately) April 24-June 30. This is the information Heart of Biddeford has gathered from the City of Biddeford. We will update timelines as more information comes in!

Although it will seem like one large project, there are actually four separate projects coming up.

Project 1: Paving Prep, Started April 24 through approximately May 1
Maine Water is fixing and preparing their shut offs and gate valve boxes for upcoming paving operations. Since the work takes place in isolated locations along Main Street, traffic is routed around the sites.

Continue reading…

Heart of Biddeford is pleased to share our 2015-16 Annual Report, in which we thank you – the volunteers, donors, sponsors, and downtown enthusiasts – for another year of positive change! Please take a moment to review some inspiring photos, understand where HOB funds came from and where they were spent, and see the list of people who stepped up to make a difference in Biddeford this year.

Our fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30, so each fall we communicate about HOB’s accomplishments and all the people and organizations with whom we partner in revitalizing Biddeford. We are honored to be a Nationally Designated Main Street program, and to have remarkable support from the City of Biddeford in doing this work!

Please read the Annual Report here!

Artists are invited to submit creative holiday lighting design concepts to brighten downtown Biddeford for the holiday season. Ten artists will be selected, and will receive a $100 stipend to defray costs of the installation. These 10 artists will be eligible to compete for a $750 Grand Prize.

Click here to read all about it, and to find out how to submit your idea!

Heart of Biddeford and Saco Main Street bring you the River Jam Festival, Saturday, September 17! River Jam promises to put Biddeford and Saco on the map as the ultimate end-of-summer celebration! We don’t want you to miss one River Jam minute, so this newsletter spells out all the details in one place. Other ways to be in the know:

River Jam website
River Jam Facebook page
Volunteer Sign-up (get a free River Jam t-shirt!)
Location Map and Parking Details

RiverJam 5K cropped8 a.m. River Jam 5K. 

Start your day with a fun, certified 5K road race or walk. With an 8 a.m. start at Clifford Park, you’ll wind through an exciting course that culminates in Mechanics Park. Prizes in all age-categories and a free River Jam t-shirt for all who pre-register (and t-shirt for day-of registrants while supplies last). Registration is $20 through Sept. 14. Day-of registration is $25. Register here now! 

Kayak10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. SUP and Kayak Races, and Try a Boat

Get right on the Saco River, with boating events that depart from Rumery’s Boat Yard from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mechanics Park has wonderful views of the river, so come early to watch the races! All water events are free. Personal floatation devices provided.
10:30 Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Race. Sign up here!
Noon Kayak Race. Sign up here!
1:30-3 Try a boat! Get in a kayak or canoe and have some fun on the beautiful Saco River! No pre-registration necessary.

park-artwalkNoon – 4 p.m. Family Fun and Maker’s Market

From Noon-4, make your way to Mechanics Park in Biddeford for lots of family fun! The Maker’s Market, brought to you by Engine, will feature the whimsical, practical and sustainable art of talented Maine makers. Here’s a sample of the dozen makers you’ll meet!

Kids can go bounce-happy with a huge obstacle course plus the Dance Dome! (Yes, free!) Ten local non-profits are providing kid’s activities, snacks and info booths! Sweetcream Dairy will be there with their ice cream cart too, with a portion of profits going to Maine Farmland Trust. *NEW* We can hardly wait for you to meet the good folks from Sellam Circus, who will be setting up some circus fun!

Timber Tina3 p.m. Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Twelve exciting events packed into a 75 minute show! Axe throwing. Log Rolling. Underhand Chopping. Power Hot Sawing. Obstacle Pole Relay. Crosscut Sawing. Pole Climbing… And More!

Tina was a Castaway on CBS’s Survivor, a competitor on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska. She has been competing in lumberjack sports since she was seven years old. A World Champion in both Log Rolling and Jack & Jill Crosscut Sawing, she’s bringing her crew here for River Jam! Learn more about Timber Tina and her show here!

10450941_914259798635617_5727673813399656471_n4 p.m. Gates Open and Food Trucks/Run of the Mill Brew Tent

At 4 p.m., gates open (yep, gate entrance is free) on Saco Island with Run of the Mill‘s brew tent and five fantastic food trucks! Enjoy Wicked Good Street Kitchen, Love Cupcakes, On the Wagon, Fishin Ships, and Riz Martz for snacks and beverages.

Sarah Blacker5 p.m. Sarah Blacker

There’s a reason Sarah Blacker was voted Female Performer of the Year in the New England Music Awards! You wont want to miss a moment of Sarah Blacker’s feel-good, sundress rockin’ set!

Listen to her music and watch videos here.

Ghost of Paul Revere crop6:30 p.m. Ghost of Paul Revere

Born on the banks of the Saco River, brothers in all but name, the Ghost of Paul Revere is Maine’s holler-folk band. With a sound built around powerful three-part harmonies, energetic performances, and a non-traditional way of interpreting traditional American music, their songs have unique identities while still remaining undeniably the Ghost of Paul Revere. Listen to their incredible sound here.

RUSTIC CROP8 p.m. Rustic Overtones

We are thrilled that Rustic Overtones will headline at this year’s RiverJam Festival. Check out great Rustic Overtones video clips here!   Rustic Overtones are a seven piece rock band from Portland Maine with a discography that spans 20 years. The bands unique version of indie rock is strongly influenced by soul music, garage punk, jazz and psychedelic music of the 60’s and 70’s. “A unique sound steeped in both Earth, Wind and Fire-style funk and late-era Beatles psychedelia.” -Rolling Stone

MALLETT BROTHERS CROP9:30 p.m. Mallett Brothers

Cap off an incredible River Jam with the Mallett Brothers! Over the last 6 years, The Mallett Brothers Band’s busy tour schedule has helped them to build a die-hard fanbase across the U.S. while still calling the state of Maine their home. With songs that can range from alt country, to americana, honkytonk,  jam or roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by folk and singer/songwriter influences as it is  by harder rock, twang and psychedelic sounds.

Led by brothers Luke and Will Mallett, the band is rounded out by Adam Cogswell on drums, Nick Leen on bass, Wally on dobro and electric guitar, and Andrew Martelle on fiddle and mandolin. It’s song-driven music that holds up under the lens of solitary listening, but that’s equally apt to crank a room full of rockers into whiskey-fueled high gear. Watch videos and hear their great music here!

Festival SponsorsThank you to our Festival Sponsors, City of Biddeford, City of Saco, Biddeford Savings, Deering Lumber, Saco & Biddeford Savings, and Unitil!  For the full list of Sponsors and Partners, please click here!

Biddeford Restaurant Week kicked off with a very successful Community Soup-er on Sunday, March 13. Ten downtown restaurants donated delicious soup and breads/biscuits and more than 100 guests helped raise $1500 for our food pantries! We are grateful to all the restaurants, Billy Billy for creating a great atmosphere with their music, the Pepperell Mill Campus for donating the space, and to all the volunteers who made the event possible!

Make the most of Biddeford Restaurant Week by checking out the Eat Biddeford Facebook page each day for specials and promotions offered by the businesses. Then, when enjoying your meal, fill out the entry form and leave it at the restaurant. At the end of the week, HOB will collect all the entries and choose one entry to win a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice!

And, check out some great press that our downtown eateries have received!

Palace Diner: Bon Appetit names Palace one of 50 top new restaurants of the year! Here’s their feature article in Down East Magazine. And, here’s what the Portland Press Herald has to say about Greg and Chad!

Custom Deluxe: Portland Press Herald raves! Down East calls Custom Deluxe approachable and affordable.

Elements: Books Coffee Beer: MaineEater says Elements is among 20 best wake-up spots in the state. Business Insider names Elements the best coffee shop in the state!

Elements, Banded Horn, Thai Me and Los Tapatios are featured in this article in Maine Magazine!

Make up your own mind about what’s tops! All of the downtown restaurants are listed here.

Top 10 Reasons Your Donation to HOB Will Make a Difference

If these 10 reasons are important to you, please contribute to HOB’s
#BelieveInBiddeford campaign today!

1.  We bring jobs.
We attract and help retain businesses in Biddeford, and inspire entrepreneurs to start-up here. 18 of the businesses that opened in downtown Biddeford since 2012 have brought more than 100 total jobs.

2.  We draw new businesses.
We walk prospective business owners through the start-up process, and keep a database of existing properties. Great new businesses started up through the successful Main Street Challenge and Main Street Challenge Encore programs. The downtown vacancy rate has dropped 37% since 2012.

3.  We actively support existing businesses.
We host events that draw people downtown, facilitate a Main Street Makeover grant program, provide free marketing in the newsletter, and produce a free downtown map. We also host the monthly Donut Club and Entrepreneurs Group. Many downtown events encourage participants to shop locally. Continue reading…

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