Taking place May 23-25 in Milwaukee, the 2016 Main Street Now Conference will draw upon successful revitalization projects in Wisconsin to address challenges facing 21st century downtowns and commercial districts.
Nearly 1,500 people from downtown development organizations and local governments will attend the annual conference organized by the National Main Street Center and sponsored by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
“The strong registration tally for this event is a sign that we’re delivering a great program in Wisconsin this year,” said Darrin Wasniewski, downtown development program manager with WEDC.
Wisconsin speakers are well represented in the 80+ educational sessions that will be held over the course of the three-day conference. In addition, the event will feature 14 mobile education sessions in which groups of attendees will visit Wisconsin communities by bus. Mobile education session locations include Milwaukee’s downtown, breweries and Avenues West, as well as communities in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Rock, Racine and Dane Counties.
“Wisconsin’s innovative approaches to building vibrant downtowns and commercial districts will be on full display at this year’s Main Street Now Conference,” said Wasniewski.
WEDC provides operational support and training to Wisconsin communities to revitalize their business districts based on historic preservation principles developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Currently, 35 Wisconsin communities participate in WEDC’s Main Street Program. Since 1988, these communities have seen more than 2,300 businesses open their doors and 12,000 jobs created, with more than $1 billion in private investment. In 2014-2015, 115 new businesses opened in Wisconsin’s Main Street Communities, creating more than 586 jobs and generating $91 million in private investment.