From the Main Street Director’s Desk
What is the 4-Point Approach?
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Executive Director
As you know, Grayling has been a Select Level Main Street Community since the spring of 2014. Since then we have been working toward economic redevelopment and historic preservation of our downtown using the Main Street 4-Point Approach.
The four points of the Main Street Approach were design, organization, promotion, and economic restructuring; the four committees of the Main Street Program embodied these points. Once Grayling Main Street (GMS) had its director and board members established in the spring of 2014, the process of developing committees and work plans for projects and events began. Volunteers were invited to join the committees.
The Design Committee attracted a keen eye for aesthetic appeal. The appearance of buildings, flowers, event layouts and decorations, and the preservation of our history all contribute to the feel of Main Street.
The Organization Committee attracted planners and organizers. They would become the leaders in volunteer recruitment and retention, as well as the primary fundraising committee.
The Promotions Committee attracted those who were outgoing and creative promoters of our downtown. They became the cheerleaders for our Main Street, promoting events, projects, and successes for all to see, hear, and feel.
The Economic Restructuring Committee attracted individuals with a drive for economic growth and understanding of financial and property development. They became the team that assists with ongoing business training and recruiting developers and businesses that could be beneficial to our downtown.
Each of the committees was then tasked with creating work plans for events and projects to accomplish the mission of GMS. The combination of the DDA Board and GMS Board allowed Main Street to seamlessly integrate into events like Harvest Festival and Christmas Walk. GMS also explored developing more retail centric events to drive shoppers downtown throughout the year, as well as volunteer outreach opportunities and donor attraction measures.
The growth of every new organization is often accompanied by some degree of conflict and disagreement; GMS was not immune to this common struggle. The GMS Board members and director disagreed on the best development path for the community and organization. Each community is unique. Experience with the Main Street Approach from another community and understanding of the Grayling dynamic proved to be difficult ingredients to blend together. Before the one-year anniversary of Grayling’s move to Select Level, the board and director decided to part ways. This transition offered the board an opportunity to evaluate their expectations and needs from Main Street.
The director’s departure left the GMS program in a delicate situation, but a chance for change was knocking on the door. After experiencing what they did not want the program to be, strategic alterations were made at the board level, and the search for a new director began in the spring of 2015.
Want to know more about the second GMS Director and what happened in year two as a Select Level community? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Grayling Main Street Executive Director. She has been with the program since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her eye shadow and hair will be next.