Downtown Lapeer is focused on Main Street. Under the direction of Lapeer’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Lapeer is focused and has its sight set on Main Street, a program designed to preserve the natural beauty and history of our downtown while enhancing commerce and strengthening investment in the community. How do you get to Main Street? You work together and you include everyone. The Lapeer DDA is inviting the public to join them on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 6:30pm inside the historic courthouse to learn more about the Main Street program directly from those that know the program the best.
What is the Main Street program? The Michigan Main Street (MMS) program guides communities in their efforts to reinvigorate their downtowns. Lapeer is at the “Associate Level” which is the introduction to the MMS program focused on creating understanding of the principals, ideology, and investment required to be successful. A strong, and focused commitment of the Associate Level allows the Lapeer community to apply for “Select Level”, and then through hard work and community engagement, “Master Level”; the most prestigious of the 3 levels of the MMS Program. Communities in the Main Street Program use a 4-Prong Approach: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring with the goal to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers while maintaining the community’s historic character.
But the Main Street Program is also about much more than just reaching new levels within the program. It is about creating a vibrant downtown that provides a variety of goods and services to the community, fostering a strong sense of place where an authentic main street experience is provided. Historical architecture and the authentic growth of downtowns throughout time give them a distinct flavor and vibrancy not found anywhere else. With this in mind, Lapeer’s downtown shouldn’t be forgotten. Historic downtown Lapeer has two things that cannot be reproduced, history and authenticity; therefore, it’s our duty to preserve both the tangible and intangible aspects that make our downtown distinctly beautiful and special.
How do we get there? Main Street is a national program that receives state funding. Every year communities throughout the state compete to be selected as one of the three official Main Street Communities inducted into the program. As we work toward completing and achieving the various levels of the MMS Program, Lapeer is eligible to receive support and services designed to stimulate downtown. The MMS Program gives the background and organization to get entire community involvement to make a positive difference. Applicants for Select Level are judged on a number of factors including community participation and support, a successful fundraising program, ample volunteer base, completeness of the application, and a final presentation.
Most importantly, we need you. “This is an exciting opportunity for Lapeer” – says DDA director James Alt. “But we cannot do it without the people that matter the most, the people that call Lapeer home. We all want to live someplace that we love and it’s important that people have a say in their community.” Alt says that he would love nothing more than to see the second floor of the historic courthouse filled to capacity on Wednesday evening. “It’s important that we show the Main Street Program that we have the support of the community. That it’s not just a few of us that are excited to revitalize Lapeer’s downtown, but everyone.”
The public event will take place on Wednesday, July 27 at 6:30pm on the second floor of the historic courthouse. Brittney Hoszkiw from the Michigan Main Street Program will be the special guest presenter and will include a question and answer session after her presentation. For more information on Lapeer’s involvement in MMS visit www.downtownlapeer.com. You can also learn more about the Main Street program by visiting www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com.