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Main Street SC restructures to offer services to more communities

Since 1984, Main Street South Carolina has played an important role to help more than 45 cities and towns in the state revitalize their downtowns and assist local businesses.   

Main Street South Carolina is a service of the Municipal Association of SC and the state affiliate of the National Main Street Center which is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The program uses the National Main Street Center's four point approach. This is a comprehensive strategy focused on optimizing the organizational structure of the Main Street program, promoting downtown and its businesses, enhancing physical assets of downtown buildings through good design and proper upkeep, and diversifying the downtown's economic base.

"For several years now we have investigated how we can better serve our Main Street cities and, at the same time, expand the reach of the program," said Beppie LeGrand, Main Street SC Manager.

To address this goal, Main Street SC has introduced a new structure to begin in 2015.  The new structure maintains the same level of intensive service and technical assistance for new members and members with less than three years of participation in the program. At the same time, it allows more experienced members the flexibility to custom design the programs and services they receive from Main Street SC by choosing from a menu of options most beneficial to their community.

Current members with less than three years of participation in the Main Street program (Gaffney, Georgetown, Hartsville, Williamston and Woodruff) will remain in the program's intensive training phase, referred to as "boot camp." After completing the three-year boot camp, these programs will join Main Street members with three or more years in the program (Beaufort, Bennettsville, Lancaster, Laurens, Manning, Pickens, Orangeburg and Summerville).

The Main Street SC staff anticipates serving up to eight boot camp participants each year. In 2015, Main Street SC will bring in three new programs for the boot camp phase. In future years, additional members will be added as existing participants complete their initial three years.

Main Street SC will advertise and accept applications on a competitive basis in the fourth quarter each year for admission into the program effective January 1 of the following year. Main Street will accept new member applications for 2015 until October 15, 2014. Cities interested in becoming a Main Street SC member should contact Beppie LeGrand, Main Street SC manager, at blegrand@masc.sc or 803.933.1231.