2010 Minnesota Main Street Reinvestment Statistics

It’s a lot of work for local Main Street® programs to collect data from the businesses and building owners in their districts. Have they hired additional staff in the last three months? How much did that new facade on their building cost? These can be very personal questions to ask.

In the first year of Minnesota Main Street all four Designated Main Street Programs successfully asked these hard questions of the people in their district.

Before you scroll down to see the results of their work, I want to tell you why gathering this information is one of the most powerful tools that local Main Street programs have at their disposal.

This data establishes a base line of what is happening in commercial districts at the beginning of their work. As time goes on and information is available for multiple years, it’s possible to show a pattern of increasing investment and revitalization in the district in the form of more businesses, rehabilitated facades, roof repairs, or higher event attendance.

Detractors of downtown may point to an empty storefront and say that everyone is leaving downtown. If the local Main Street program is tracking which businesses are moving in and out of downtown, they can counter with the number of new businesses that have chosen to locate there.

This knowledge can also help the program objectively identify where weaknesses in the local district are (so they can be strengthened) or when  clusters of business types are developing.

Funders of any non-profit want to know that their money is making an impact. By tabulating the dollar amount reinvested in your commercial district through facade renovations, building improvements, and public area projects and then dividing that number by the program’s operating budget, you can tell those funders what their return on investment is.

The Designated Main Street Programs in Minnesota that completed this hard work in 2010 are:

To each of these programs from your state coordinating program, “Thank you and congratulations!”

Minnesota’s four Designated Main Street districts netted 13 new businesses and 42 new jobs in the past year. These commercial districts also saw $1.4 million in private investment and $3.8 million in public investment for physical improvement projects. In these four communities (average population 16,500), 14 facades were rehabilitated over the last year. For every $1 spent running a local Main Street program, approximately $22.42 was invested in their Main Street district.

2010 Reinvestment Statistics – Local Minnesota Main Street Programs

Net of all gains and losses in full-time jobs in 2010 16
Net of all gains and losses in part-time jobs in 2010 26
Net of all gains and losses in new businesses in 2010 13
Number of building rehabilitation projects in 2010 39
Number of public improvement projects in 2010 7
Number of new construction projects completed in 2010 0
$ Value of all private investment spent in the above projects $1,395,713
$ Value of all public investment spent in the above projects $3,795,489
Number of volunteer hours contributed in 2010 3,796
Number of event attendees in 2010 17,709
Number of programs included in these statistics 4

These measurements are annually collected by Main Street programs across the country before being submitted to the National Trust Main Street Center. National statistics are available at www.mainstreet.org.

Other statistics that may be of interest:

  • For every $1 spent on running the local Main Street Program in Minnesota, $22.42 are reinvested in the community.
  • For every $1 spent on running the local Main Street Program in Minnesota, $8.41 in private funds are reinvested in the community.
  • For every $1 spent on running a local Main Street Program in Minnesota, $14.02 in public funds are reinvested in the community.
  • For every $1 spent on the state and local Main Street programs in Minnesota, $15.73 are reinvested in local communities.

The Minnesota Main Street Program has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Emily Northey, Minnesota Main Street Program Coordinator

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