Main Street America is a national organization that is made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts that use the Four Point approach to help breathe new life into the places people call home. Through Eco3 LNPK and Main Street Lincoln Park programming, we are leading the efforts to establish Main Street America recognition in Duluth’s Lincoln Park using this approach.
The Four Points begin with Organization. Creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort requires the local Main Street organization to be able to build strong partnerships, get involved in community efforts, and provide resources for the district. Ecolibrium3 has been engaged in this kind of work for nearly a decade in Lincoln Park, by forwarding initiatives to improve our business district and adjacent residential areas. A few of these include liaising between MnDOT and our businesses regarding the multi-year Twin Ports Interchange construction project, matching UMD Engineering students with Lincoln Park businesses through Lincoln Park Shines!, providing COVID-19 information and resources, and supporting other non-profits through the Pay it Forward PPE project.
Economic Vitality (or as we like to refer to it at Ecolibrium3, “Eco-Vitality”), focuses on the financial side of our business community. We connect our businesses to financial tools through strong connections with banks and partner organizations like our local SBA office and the Entrepreneur Fund. We also provide and make businesses aware of available grant opportunities, and offer one-on-one technical assistance and property match-making. Through this work, we are building a supportive economic environment for our entrepreneurs to thrive.
Promotion puts Economic Vitality into daily practice by showcasing our district with events like the Mid-Summer Celebration, holiday-related activities and Small Business Saturday. We also spearhead promotional media like the Lincoln Park map, Lincoln Park Coffee Break videos, and push out announcements and event information for our businesses through the Our Lincoln Park social media platforms. Recently, we launched the new Main Street LNPK virtual gift card that will help drive more traffic to participating Lincoln Park businesses.
Design is the last Main Street revitalization point. It’s the streetscape, the place-making, the art-installing, the garbage collecting—all of the things that support the physical and visual assets that set Lincoln Park apart and encourage visitors to come and stay for a while. We offer some great consulting services at critical junctures to new building owners and work to inspire beautification through the Stone Soup Portable Gardens. We have to say that the many once-empty tree vaults in our business corridor are looking pretty great filled with new trees this year and will proudly toot our own horn for helping to make that a reality.
There are now three Main Street committees consisting of our neighborhood partners to support and champion the Four Points. The committee members are business owners from our district who have assisted in grant distribution and reallocation of funds to support district garbage collection. They also offer a variety of perspectives as we navigate our business world through the COVID-19 landscape while also adding capacity to our Main Street Lincoln Park programming into the future.
As we seek official Main Street designation this year, we look forward to seeing you in our neighborhood, supporting both the work of Ecolibrium3 and our Main Street businesses. We hope you are now as passionate about our Main Street work as we are. From Rocks to Docks, Skyline to Shoreline, Ecolibrium3’s Main Street Lincoln Park program is absolutely #CraftingSomethingGreat.
For ongoing Lincoln Park news, like and follow the Our Lincoln Park Facebook and Instagram pages as well as @ourlincolnpark on Twitter. Questions about Main Street programs? Want to get involved? Call Shannon Laing at 218 | 336–1038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.