Main Street officials will provide training on the basics for a successful Main Street program on Oct. 16 and 17, 2018 in Foley. Anyone interested in the Main Street organization is eligible to attend the free seminars by making a reservation. These classes teach how it all fits together, and how to make Foley’s Main Street work best for our community. The classes cover the Main Street program’s four topics: economic vitality, to strengthen economic assets; promotion, which includes advertising, retail promotions, special events and marketing campaigns;  design, which includes visual opportunities to create a safe, inviting environment; and organization, which establishes partnerships among the groups that have a stake in the commercial district.

Anyone who wishes to be involved in the program will benefit greatly from attending one or more of the four training sessions. It is not necessary to attend them all. Reservations are required. Contact Miriam Boutwell at, or call 251-943-1200. Please specify which class or classes.

The classes will be held at the Foley Civic Center, located at 415 E. Laurel Ave. in Foley.

Organization Tuesday, Oct. 16    9 a.m. – noon.

Organization establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in the commercial district. By getting everyone working toward the same goal, your Main Street program can provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy for your downtown or neighborhood business district. Through volunteer recruitment and collaboration with partners representing a broad cross section of the community, your program can incorporate a wide range of perspectives into its efforts. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders. Design

Tuesday, Oct. 16   1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors. It takes advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in a commercial district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to all of these visual elements, conveys a positive message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the district’s physical appearance through the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, educating business and property owners about design quality, and long-term planning.

Economic Vitality   Wednesday, Oct. 17   9 a.m. – noon

Economic Vitality strengthens your community’s existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. This is accomplished by retaining and expanding successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners, and attracting new businesses that the market can support. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. The goal is to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers.  (more)

Promotion  Wednesday, Oct. 17  1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image that will rekindle community pride and improve consumer and investor confidence in your commercial district. Advertising, retail promotions, special events, and marketing campaigns help sell the image and promise of Main Street to the community and surrounding region. Promotions communicate your commercial district’s unique characteristics, business establishments, and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.