Inspire Mishawaka has a variety of purposes within its mission, but perhaps the most fundamental is the establishment, maintenance, and growth of our downtown through Main Street America accreditation process in partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. This program provides grant assistance, design guidelines, advocacy training, and a wealth of knowledge in best practices for building the vibrancy and inclusiveness for downtown development.
One of the first steps in achieving this accreditation is defining what the geographic boundary of the downtown is where we focus our development efforts. This boundary forms a district and is where the efforts of Inspire Mishawaka are to be focused in order to maintain partnership and subsequent resources from the Main Street America program. There are a series of requirements for this district, such as including historic districts/sites, emphasizing commercial activity and avoiding residential areas, and more.
Our team additionally established partnerships with community-based organizations such as Visit South Bend Mishawaka, Michiana Area Council of Governments, and the City of Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission. With the development of a business inventory downtown, we officially launched our effort to become a Main Street affiliate at a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at the downtown Mishawaka library.
One of the key purposes of becoming a Main Street accredited organization is the proven formula to create transformational change in a community. That effort follows the Main Street American Four Point Approach of building Economic Vitality, supporting Design and the designed use of a historic downtown, Promotion of events and activities bringing people downtown, and Organization best practices. This approach is further described in the photo below.