Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
Boats lined up at docks on a lake.

Boyne City, Michigan © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

Boyne City Main Street in Boyne City, Michigan was one of three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA), which recognizes communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Selected by a national jury of community development professionals and leaders in the fields of economic development and historic preservation, Boyne City was recognized for turning their previously industrial downtown into a thriving destination to live, work, and play.


Main Street America Program: Boyne City Main Street
Coordinating Program: Michigan Main Street
Year Organization Founded: 2003
Population: 3,740
Public and Private Reinvestment: $45,545,565
Net New Businesses: 91
Buildings/​Structures Rehabilitated:
44

Visit Boyne City Main Street
Musicians perform on a sidewalk while visitors walk by.

Stroll the Streets event. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

Video

Boyne City’s inspiring transformation serves as a model for downtowns looking to appeal to tourists while investing in the quality of life of year-round residents,” said Main Street America President and CEO Patrice Frey. Boyne City Main Street has demonstrated the power of community engagement, strategic business development, and public and private partnerships to revitalize Main Street.”

Located along Lake Charlevoix and the Boyne River in Northern Michigan, Boyne City has harnessed its picturesque waterfront location to become a hub for year-round outdoor recreation. The Main Street program has both enhanced access to natural resources and improved the sense of place downtown, thanks to a streetscape redevelopment project, developing a boardwalk and marina, adding public art, and implementing a façade grant program. A strong roster of events, from outdoor music to food festivals, along with a dedicated volunteer base, has also brought vitality back to downtown.

A busy downtown street from an upper floor vantage point.

Friday night downtown. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

The Boyne City Main Street program has been a catalyst for economic development. Since the Main Street program got its start, the downtown has seen 91 net new businesses and has a vacancy rate of just 1 percent, down from 5 percent in 2003. The program supports a diverse mix of year-round small businesses, regularly convenes business owners to find new ways to support them, and has championed data-based recruitment and retention efforts.

Throughout the pandemic, Boyne City Main Street has ramped up their small business support, completing multiple rounds of calls to every downtown business owner to check on their needs. The Main Street program has focused on connecting business owners to funding opportunities, helping them get online, and connecting merchants with resources to safely reopen.

  • A man presents a tray loaded with pastries.

    Boyne City Bakery serves up delicious baked goods. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

  • Two women and a young boy rake leaves in a park.

    Volunteers participate in Buff Up Boyne beautification event. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

While Boyne City has become a popular tourist destination, the Main Street program has deeply invested in its residents. As its downtown grew, Boyne City Main Street has helped tackle an issue facing developing commercial districts across the country: workforce housing. In partnership with the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Boyne City, several workforce housing initiatives are underway downtown. These multi-use projects will provide income-adjusted housing units, commercial space for shops and restaurants, and market-rate units, which will add substantial revenue to the Main Street budget, provide much-needed housing for the workforce, and add to the vibrancy of downtown.

People in kayaks on a lake with historic retail storefronts in the background.

Kayakers on Lake Charlevoix. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

The partnerships Boyne City Main Street has been able to build helped get them where they are today,” said Laura Krizov, Manager of Michigan Main Street. They are so deserving of this award because of the great program they have been able to build. They have worked the Main Street mythology over the last 17 years and the comprehensive approach to revitalizing and managing their downtown is what has brought them to where they are today.”

Boyne City Main Street has developed strong partnerships to move their initiatives forward, raising $16,412,766 in public reinvestment and $29,132,799 in private reinvestment since 2003. When Boyne City needed to move their farmers market inside for the winter, they worked with a range of partners to rehab a pavilion downtown. After seven years of fundraising, Boyne City completed the pavilion, which now hosts the farmers market and other events.

  • A woman serving wine to guests visiting a retail store.

    The Wine Emporium. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

  • Bright orange pumpkins placed in front of retail stores.

    Harvest Festival decorations. © Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography

Although the Great American Main Street Award says Boyne City Main Street’ on the plaque, the award is really for every member of our community,” said Kelsie King-Duff, Executive Director of Boyne City Main Street. It is for anyone who has shopped at our unique stores, eaten at one of our restaurants, attended an event, and helped make Boyne City what it is today. This is a wonderful way to celebrate what we’ve accomplished so far, and a great reminder that we’re just getting started.”