Skip to main content

Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

Aspiring Main Street SC Members Share Successes

The Municipal Association of SC’s Main Street SC program offers technical assistance to guide local revitalization programs in implementing the nationally recognized Main Street Four-Point Approach. 

Main Street programs work differently across the participating 33 communities in South Carolina — each with its own capacity and resources. To help them, Main Street SC offers four levels of participation, including the Aspiring level for those building a sustainable revitalization program.

Over three years, Aspiring communities engage in an asset-based strategic planning process that defines development strategies and actions to take. They regularly engage with residents, stakeholders and partner organizations to create positive economic change in their downtowns. 

Two such Aspiring communities entering the last of their three years are Fountain Inn and Clover. Each program is housed in a city department with staff and an advisory board or steering committee support. 

Fountain Inn's Mac Arnold Cornbread and Collard Greens Blues Festival  celebrated its 17th year in 2023. Photo: City of Fountain Inn
Fountain Inn's Mac Arnold Cornbread and Collard Greens Blues Festival celebrated its 17th year in 2023. Photo: City of Fountain Inn.

Fountain Inn

In 1953, Greenville County extended its water lines southward from Greenville, bringing growth opportunity to the area — the “Golden Strip.” As the corridor’s end, Fountain Inn became “the Diamond Tip of the Golden Strip.”

Fountain Inn has since experienced unprecedented expansion. Its Main Street has become a central growth hub of new residents, development and infill revitalization. After hosting its first Main Street stakeholder meeting in January 2022, the city prioritized several initiatives including a robust façade grant program. 

In 2022 alone, Fountain Inn’s downtown tracked over $1 million of investment, 19 building rehabilitation projects, and seven new businesses.

 “Over a dozen restaurants, as many retail shops, artist galleries, museums, and parks mean that those new residents have plenty to do and typically spend more than 90 minutes in our downtown core,” said Martin Lane, director of community relations. 

City leaders realized that growth would require infrastructure improvements, so work began on a new Main Street streetscape project including improved parking, new trees and a splash pad, most of which was made possible through community and statewide partnerships.

Leaders also expanded the events calendar. Perennial favorites like Christmas Inn Our Town and the Mac Arnold Cornbread and Collard Greens Blues Festival still draw tens of thousands of visitors, but they’re joined by newer events like Jeepers Creepers and the Italian American Heritage Festival.

“Fountain Inn is certain to continue to grow,” Lane said. “As a suburb of Greenville, we offer the best of both worlds – small town charm and new investments.”


Over the past two years, Clover brought several major revitalization goals to life. It emphasized business friendliness and a diverse mix of businesses, which has drawn in four new businesses — everything from a skate shop to shared offices.

“By adopting the holistic Main Street Approach, we are able to create and follow a comprehensive planning process to transform our downtown. The citywide impact from prioritized initiatives in our downtown district is visible,” said Alicia Griffith, Main Street director.
Strengthening partnerships and communication have also been priorities. Clover Main Street hosts quarterly small business and building owner workshops and expanded its numerous event partnerships with the Clover School District. 

Clover’s ambitious revitalization efforts include drafting a new business step-by-step guide, drafting an ordinance for desirable storefronts on Main Street, and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. A banner system is connecting North Main and South Main businesses, as they are separated by a short distance. Installing a consistent and dense light post banner treatment will visually link the two areas into one consolidated downtown district.

“Downtown revitalization work is a serious and ongoing commitment to planning and action,” said Jenny Boulware, Main Street SC manager. “Our state’s Main Street leaders strategically work the Main Street Approach to create jobs, expand businesses and catalyze investment.”

To learn more, contact Jenny Boulware at or 803.354.4792.