Jacksonville Main Street

Jacksonville Main Street

Jacksonville, IL

http://www.jacksonvillemainstreet.com

Since 1999, Jacksonville Main Street has been making Downtown the destination of choice! The locally funded, volunteer-driven non-profit produces family-friendly public events, enhances aesthetics throughout the 44-block district, and is devoted to reversing forty years of Urban Renewal blight with one final phase remaining! This Great American Main Street Award winner recruits, encourages, and supports small businesses with cooperative comprehensive economic development plans, access to incentives, and programs that drive people downtown to shop, helping retail make a comeback downtown! Main Street promotions boost marketing and visibility; low-interest loan programs fund property enhancements; virtual available space and interactive business directories increase occupancy and transactions. Networking platforms, Online Marketing Playbook, and training opportunities help entrepreneurs keep up with the digital age and develop attractions. Since Jacksonville Main Street's strategic plan prioritizes downtown entrepreneurial ecosystem development, additional funding will facilitate a physical location to help launch start-ups, enhance the business environment, and engage a wider regional audience. Arts and entertainment flourish downtown with free Wi-Fi and daily music in the park, art shows, festivals, and live weekly summer concerts, increasing traffic and enhancing this rural midwestern downtown's quality of life. This award will help grow the Wall Dog mural collection (an educational heritage tourism attraction highlighting Jacksonville's unique history and Civil War/Lincoln connections) to celebrate local African American history while beautifying the Downtown National Register Historic District. It will also help Jacksonville Main Street continue drawing thousands for community-building public events that feature Illinois made products, boost downtown business and tourism, provide entertainment, bring diverse people together, and create a sense of place downtown.