From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Celebrating all upward growth and investment
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
As I mentioned last week, we started 2018 with a review of Grayling Main Street’s (GMSt) 2017. I shared a recap of events and training, and offered numbers associated to change in our downtown, as well as a few of our targets for the coming year. If you would like us to share this information in a verbal presentation to your group, business, or collective of friends, give us a call and we will work out a time and place. The presentation is a great opportunity to ask questions, suggest projects, and get to know us better.
Often times we get the similar questions during such presentations. As I did last year, I would like to address a couple of common inquiries we have been encountering. This is the second of two installments. You can find other recently and frequently asked questions, and responses, on our website.
Questions #2: Why does GMSt report investment, new businesses, and façade improvements if they are not actually doing/paying for the work, or involved in the process?
Simply put, we are stewards of this data, it is our responsibility to record what happens in our district and preserve the information. It is also a requirement of the Main Street program, both from the State and National coordinating offices, regardless of how our program influenced the change. There are no other entities recording the change in our downtown, and without these consolidated records, citing change and growth can be difficult. We are careful to delineate between private and public investment, to get numbers as close as possible when the true figures are not accessible, and, since 2016 each recorded investment and project has narrative associated with the reported numbers for review later.
Additionally, part of our mission is to advocate for, celebrate, and promote our district, and community. To only recognize and record incredible improvements that GMSt directly impacted, while ignoring those that were not interested in services, or were ineligible for services, would be counter-productive to that part of our mission, and detrimental in tracking the true growth and transformation of Grayling. It would also be rude. We are committed to celebrating all upward growth and investment, and being respectful of the value and positive impact it has on the collective. Our lack of involvement does not render the project irrelevant or invisible, it still happened, and should be recorded and recognized.
Finally, this data can be leveraged by many in grant and loan applications, requests for services, and to bolster confidence and interest in investing in Grayling. Our recoding of this information serves to show that investments can be lucrative, there is a strong sense of pride and appearance in the district, and that locals are connected and engaged with the well-being of the community.
I hope you found these responses useful, and if you find yourself with more questions, please, as usual, feel free to reach out via phone, email, text, Facebook, our website, in person… any way you want, to learn more.
Also, do not forget, this week is Project Rising Tide’s community input session, on Thursday March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Eagles Club. We hope you can make it out for light refreshments and round tables discussions about where Grayling should be looking to next.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt 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 hair will be next.