Frequently Asked Questions
- What has St. Johns Main Street accomplished?
- What’s St. Johns Main Street working on now?
- What is Main Street?
- What is the four point approach?
- How do I get involved?
What has St. Johns Main Street accomplished?
Since St. Johns Main Street was formed in 2010, the organization has been busy establishing itself in the community. Successes include:
- Incorporation of St. Johns Main Street as an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
- Establishment an office on “Main Street” (Lombard Ave)
- Establishment the largest safety watch Foot Patrol in the city of Portland
- Secured grants to improve public safety and graffiti abatement
- Created a Walking Map marketing tool for downtown St. Johns
- Achieved a comprehensive recycling program with new locally designed and produced trash and recycle receptacles
- Established ‘WinterFest’ as a signature Main Street event
- Organized a Clean Sweep event with more than 250 volunteers to sweep, haul trash, replant, pull ivy, and spiff up North Lombard Street from St. Louis to Richmond Avenues
- Collaboration between University of Portland business class and 10 St. Johns Businesses
- Held a Design Workshop to envision what St. Johns might look like in the future
- Established a weekly electronic newsletter, social media presence, and community calendar
What’s St. Johns Main Street working on now?
St. Johns Main Street current and immediate future projects include:
- Strengthen communication between Main Street and the community, including a new website, quarterly Business Mixer, Block Captain program and quarterly Gazette newspaper
- Increase marketing of the St. Johns business district throughout Portland and SW Washington, including the branding of St. Johns
- Establish a menu of services and resources to support local businesses
- Attract new businesses to the district’s empty storefronts
- Design and implement blade signs to make businesses visible and provide an unique atmosphere
- Increase attendance at St. Johns signature events such as St. Johns Parade, Bizarre, Farmer’s Market, and Main Street’s Winterfest
- Create 3-D Google Map sketch-up of downtown St. Johns
- Create an online St. Johns business directory
What is Main Street?
Main Street is a national movement that has been around for more than 30 years and has been applied to more than 2,000 communities. Through the passion of community volunteers, the program’s proven four point approach, resources, and assistance have helped these district’s revitalize their downtown and neighborhood business districts. The result is a more vibrant, stable, and sustainable community.
What is the four point approach?
The four point approach is a unique economic development tool and the foundation for local communities to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets, from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The four points – Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring – work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort.
Establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in the commercial district. By getting everyone working toward the same goal, your Main Street program can provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy for the your downtown or neighborhood business district. Through volunteer recruitment and collaboration with partners representing a broad cross section of the community, your program can incorporate a wide range of perspectives into its efforts. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Creates a positive image that will rekindle community pride and improve consumer and investor confidence in your commercial district. Advertising, retail promotions, special events, and marketing campaigns help sell the image and promise of Main Street to the community and surrounding region. Promotions communicate your commercial district’s unique characteristics, business establishments, and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.
Gets Main Street into top physical shape and creates a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors. It takes advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in a commercial district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to all of these visual elements, conveys a positive message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the district’s physical appearance through the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, educating business and property owners about design quality, and long-term planning.
Strengthens your community’s existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. This is accomplished by retaining and expanding successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners, and attracting new businesses that the market can support. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. The goal is to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers.
How do I get involved?
There are opportunities to get involved no matter what your position in the community, experience, or skills. Join a committee, help out in the office, volunteer at an event, and more! Click here for more information.