Jacksonville Main Street

Jacksonville Main Street

Jacksonville, IL

http://www.jacksonvillemainstreet.com

For over twenty years, Jacksonville Main Street has created award-winning solutions to challenging problems downtown. From providing access to incentives to producing family-friendly events to enhancing aesthetics, this Great American Main Street Community has rallied together to reverse four decades of Urban Renewal blight downtown... and its working! With a dozen business expansions over the year, retail is making a comeback! Low-interest loan programs provide support for property enhancements and long-range economic development goals. Online available space and interactive business directories increase both occupancy and transactions. Networking platforms and training opportunities help entrepreneurs develop their own attractions, while Main Street promotions increase sales and marketing for downtown businesses. Arts and entertainment flourish downtown with free Wi-Fi and daily music in the park, art shows, festivals, and live concerts weekly throughout the summer, increasing traffic and enhancing the quality of life in this rural midwestern downtown. Homegrown projects have created educational heritage tourism attractions that highlight connections to Lincoln and the Civil War, while the expanding downtown mural collection celebrates Jacksonville's unique history and beautifies the recently designated Downtown National Register Historic District. Thousands are drawn to Main Street events that highlight Illinois-made products, provide entertainment, bring diverse people together, and create a sense of place downtown. This award will enable beautification projects and community-building public events that boost downtown businesses and tourism to continue and grow. Since Jacksonville Main Street's strategic plan holds development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem downtown as a top priority, additional funding will facilitate a physical location to help launch start-ups, enhance the business environment, and encourage more engagement from a wider regional audience.