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A downtown revitalization boot camp called Main Street South Carolina has helped many cities and towns bring their downtown to life. But the three-year program commitment takes work, starting with preparing the application.

Applications will be accepted July 1 through September 1, 2018. "We encourage applicants to go in and start working on it before July 1 because there's a lot of data they have to gather," said Beppie LeGrand, Main Street SC manager for the Municipal Association.

"As part of the application, we like for cities to determine the area that they want to start with for revitalization, including information such as the number of nonprofits, vacant buildings, businesses, historic buildings and blocks the area has."

Applications must be accompanied by letters of support from community stakeholders, such as the local chamber of commerce, school district, historic foundation, industry leaders or business owners. The application must also include a letter of commitment, signed by all council members and the mayor, stating that the council will support the program during the boot camp phase.

After the Main Street SC staff has received and reviewed the application, a team, led by the Main Street South Carolina manager, will visit the site with the applicant to determine eligibility. Other team members would include a design/architecture professional and an economic development professional or someone with expertise in incentives. Cities and towns that are accepted receive notification within 30 days of their site visit.

Main Street SC was established in 1984 to encourage the revitalization of downtowns. Each year, the program accepts applications and selects cities and towns to join the program. The Town of Kingstree is the newest member accepted into the program in 2017.

Main Street SC members are eligible to attend a free training event in Manning on February 22. Nonmembers may attend for a registration fee of $95. Topics include using the arts to promote community development and communicating after a crisis.

For more information, contact Beppie LeGrand at 803.933.1231 or blegrand@masc.sc

Main Street SC cities and towns

  • Aiken
  • Beaufort
  • Bennettsville
  • Camden
  • Clinton
  • Gaffney
  • Georgetown 
  • Hartsville
  • Kingstree
  • Lancaster 
  • Laurens
  • Manning
  • Moncks Corner
  • Orangeburg
  • Pickens
  • Summerville
  • Sumter
  • Williamston