Hello everyone,

COVID-19 is changing how we do business now and will make an impact on our small businesses moving forward. Right now, we are seeing more than ever, Main Street programs coming together to help district businesses as they face uncertain times. We are focused on community and economic development and have an essential role to play in supporting businesses during this difficult period. Our Main Street directors, along with their boards and volunteers, will be crucial when fears about the virus subside. 

We are already providing the tools and resources they will need to help stabilize their local economies and support their local businesses. We will get through this, and many of the small businesses we are working with will have tools they never had before, such as online marketing and e-commerce sales, improved customer relations, and cooperative marketing strategies that benefit the entire district.

We are now planning our "boots on the ground" response, so that when we get the all-clear to work in communities again, we will be ready to go! We are working on the immediate response and urgent action, but soon will need to manage the impact and stabilize with an eye toward leading the recovery.

We are so grateful for the support of our donors and partners. We hope you will continue to recognize the vital role we play in ensuring the long-term economic health of our state, from small rural communities to urban commercial districts. We send out a daily email to our programs with a compilation of that day's activity and have compiled all of those resources into an easily accessed file. If you would be interested in them, let us know and we will be happy to share them with you. Additionally, we've added a banner to our website that will direct you to COVID-19 Resources on the Main Street America site. Hope you are staying healthy – if we can be of assistance to you, please let me know.

Stay safe and be well,

Mary M. Helmer

Main Street Alabama
880 Montclair Road, Suite 245
Birmingham, AL 35213
(205) 910-8819
As part of our marketing for the 2018 aLABama Downtown Laboratory held in Eufaula, Peter Pauley, a local photographer and Main Street Eufaula volunteer, staged a photo representing the conference's theme of "Come Together." With a little Photoshop magic, he was able to use the photo to demonstrate proper social distancing. We love his sense of timing and understanding of our current situation.
We are seeing the best of communities in light of this situation. Here's a sample of what's happening in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts across the state.

Main Street programs are:
  • Taking popular events and turning them into a virtual experience.
  • Partnering with local restaurants to offer catered meals to neighborhoods.
  • Converting facade program funds to relief funds for businesses.
  • Working on temporarily converting streets for more pedestrian and bike traffic.
  • Posting videos of business owners updating customers on hours and giving a “face/voice” to the business.
  • Creating scavenger hunts.
  • Holding Virtual Town Hall meetings with business owners and public officials.
  • Providing signage for curbside parking spots.
  • Cleaning up the district.
  • Hosting meeting with hoteliers.
  • Coordinating brewery/restaurant pairing suggestions for takeout.
  • Forming task forces to assist small businesses.
  • Assisting businesses on getting inventory online.
  • Hosting webinars for non-profits in their district.
  • Promoting something “good” in the district on social media.
  • Organizing Tag & Share contests on Facebook for those supporting businesses in the district.
  • Creating Social Distance Bingo activities.
  • Developing business growth teams.
  • Hosting Facebook live meetings with local bankers.
  • Updating online business directories with updated hours and services.
  • Hosting contests for youth including essay and coloring contests.
  • Offering virtual historic tours.
Micah Whitson, Athens, Alabama native and letterpress artist, created free downloadable prints that can be shared during this pandemic. Click here to be directed to his website to learn more.

As a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program, Main Street Alabama helps to lead a powerful, grassroots network consisting of over 40 Coordinating Programs and over 1,200 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.
Stay in touch with Main Street Alabama
Main Street Alabama
880 Montclair Road, Suite 245
Birmingham, AL 35213