Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

Milwaukee to Host National Main Street Center Conference

Event will showcase Wisconsin community development successes to more than 1,500 attendees

By - Jan 11th, 2016 01:16 pm

MADISON, WI. Jan. 11, 2016—Milwaukee will play host to the 2016 Main Street Now conference organized in partnership by the National Main Street Center and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Taking place May 23-25, the annual event is the largest nationwide gathering of preservation-based economic and community development professionals. Main Street Now 2016 is expected to draw more than 1,500 participants to Milwaukee, including Main Street directors, volunteers, architects, planners and consultants. The conference will focus on challenges facing 21st century downtowns and commercial districts, while also tapping audience perspectives on community development opportunities.

“Being selected as a co-host of this prestigious Main Street event speaks to Wisconsin’s national leadership in developing and implementing strategies that create and sustain vibrant downtowns and commercial districts,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan.

While Milwaukee will serve as the primary location for the conference, with its strong community assets featured throughout the program, other area communities will also share the spotlight. WEDC has worked with the National Main Street Center to organize tours for attendees to Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Rock, Racine and Dane Counties, as well as several neighborhoods in Milwaukee itself.

“Wisconsin is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to encouraging social connections between community residents through well planned, maintained and programmed spaces,” said Darrin Wasniewski, downtown development program manager with WEDC.

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, 36 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.

Early-bird registration for the Main Street Now conference runs through February 29, with a final registration deadline of May 19. For more information, visit http://preservationnation.org/main-street.

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter  @_InWisconsin to learn more.

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