Main Street

Main Street

Marion, SC

https://www.theswampfox.org

Named after Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion, the city of Marion, South Carolina, is one rich in history and charm. Once a thriving thoroughfare for traffic traveling from Interstate 95 to Myrtle Beach, the downtown area was hit hard by first the construction of the 501 Bypass in 1990 and then by the recent recession. Many business closed or relocated to the outskirts of town to attract "beach traffic" during the mid-1990s, leaving beautiful, historic Main Street buildings empty and unkempt, almost to the point of dilapidation. However, through numerous recent efforts of The Historic Marion Revitalization Association (HMRA), with the support of newly elected city officials, Main Street is currently undergoing a facelift. Through three years of HMRA Fa├žade Grants and two years of Paint and Signage Campaigns, a half-dozen old constructions have been restored to their former glory, and many more are scheduled for updates in the month to come. There is currently a buzz of excitement in the community due to the recent upgrades; nevertheless, many of the buildings are missing an integral factor, the business itself. If awarded prize money through America's Main Street Contest, HMRA could begin what it hopes to be the first of many Fox Den Challenges, an entrepreneurial Shark Tank-like competition, awarding the prize winner the full amount of your award as start-up assistance. Prize money could be used to assist in furnishings, internal building upgrades, rent, inventory, equipment, or other expenses necessary to begin a new business within the historic district of Marion. Interested applicants will apply for cash incentives in the form of a potentially forgivable loan, based on the recipient's compliance to meet all established contingencies.