The National Main Street Center has announced that Main Street Laurens will take part in a national program to bring renewed economic prosperity to the community. Through a combination of community engagement, market analysis, and organizational positioning, Laurens will establish a series of key, market-driven transformation strategies designed to elevate and focus the community’s resources and capacity on building a sustainable competitive advantage within the downtown.
Main Street Laurens and the National Main Street Center invite the public to a presentation on Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Laurens County Museum’s Witherspoon building, located on South Public Square. At this meeting Kathy La Plante, Senior Program Officer and Director of Coordinating Program Services, will present the results of the recent online survey conducted in advance of the meeting, as well as an overview of the process and what the end results will be.
“We had over 330 responses from the online survey, and we are really proud of that number,” said Jonathan Irick, Executive Director of Main Street Laurens. “We hope the community will come out and participate in the public presentation aspect of the project as well because the more participation we have, the better.”
“Main Street Laurens is an advanced local program with strong leadership and momentum. It is fitting that they pilot this launch in South Carolina” said Jenny Boulware, Manager of Main Street S.C., the state coordinating program.
A solid, market-driven work plan is a great tool for Main Street Laurens to have in their effort to revitalize downtown.
“When the National Main Street Center announced the new Transformation Strategies, we were eager to learn how we could implement them here in Laurens,” Irick said. “Our organization and board of directors [are] honored to be the pilot program for South Carolina and look forward to sharing the process with the community other programs.”
“We are pleased to have Laurens to be the first South Carolina city to participate in this program to implement the new Main Street Approach,” said Matt Wagner, Vice-President of the National Main Street Center. “It’s important that organizations such as Main Street Laurens can position themselves to be more market-driven, and tackle the hard work of downtown revitalization. The refreshed Main Street Approach reinforces the value of community engagement and investment, fosters an increased understanding of existing market conditions, and promotes strategy and result-driven focus for the successful transformation of downtowns and urban commercial districts.”
Main Street Laurens is a 501-c3 non-profit organization working to promote, improve and preserve the unique character and economic vitality of downtown Laurens. The organization was formed in 1996 and as part of the Main Street South Carolina network has worked tirelessly with community partners and hundreds of volunteers to revitalize the downtown district. In 2018 alone, Main Street Laurens reported 29 new jobs created by their member businesses and over 2,800 hours of service from volunteers. Main Street Laurens uses the Main Street Four Point Approach for revitalizing the downtown district which includes work in promotion, design, economic vitality and organization.
For more information about the work of Main Street Laurens, contact Jonathan Irick at (864) 984-2119, visit the Main Street Laurens website, www.mainstreetlaurens.org, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.