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

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

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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.

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Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

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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.

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Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

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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!

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People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

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

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

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

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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

August 5, 2020 | Celebrating National Farmers Market Week 2020 | By: Abby Armato, Communications Coordinator, NMSC | 
8_5_FarmersMarket_blog.png
This week we are celebrating National Farmers Market Week! From stimulating local economies to supporting healthy communities, farmers markets play an essential role in Main Street communities and commercial districts across the nation. Our markets may look different in the times of COVID-19, but farmers markets continue to bring people together—even when they're 6 feet apart.

The Impact

8_5_FarmerMarket_Image2.pngFarmers markets have a clear positive economic impact on local communities. “For every dollar of sales, direct marketers are generating twice as much economic activity within the region, as compared to producers who are not involved in direct marketing,” found one recent study. This same study showed that selling locally created 32 full time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned compared to the larger wholesale growers who created only 10.5. In addition, 89 percent of direct-to-market farmers surveyed reported buying their supplies from local businesses. Larger wholesale farms purchased only 45 percent of their supplies locally.

Farmers markets also play an essential role in creating healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems. For small businesses who may otherwise lack capital or resources, markets can serve as safer first-step option for entrepreneurs: a small business incubator. “From your casual, one-day a week flea market vendor to your serious, seven-day a week market hall vendor, public markets are wonderful places for people - especially minorities, immigrants and women - to grow a business,” wrote the Project for Public Spaces.

What’s more, farmers markets can provide healthy food options for communities regardless of socio-economic status. With many markets accepting federal nutrition benefits such as SNAP and WIC, farmers markets can make fresh produce and other healthy options available for low-income and food-insecure places.

Farmers Markets in COVID-19

Since the onset of the pandemic, the local impact of farmers markets on local communities and economies has been felt more strongly. “Farmers markets are essential businesses,” said the Farmers Market Coalition. “The COVID19 pandemic made it clear that local food systems with short supply chains are resilient and dependable in making food available to their communities.”

Main Street communities across our Network have been working tirelessly to pivot their farmers markets, reimagining the look and feel of their markets to best adhere to social distancing practices. Here are a couple of our favorites:

VendorMap-BaptistChurchLocation_001.jpgDrive-Through Farmers Market. In an effort to minimize contact points, Culpeper Downtown's farmers market in Virginia offers both a walk-through and a drive-through market to ensure the safety of both vendors and customers. Learn more.

Remote Farmers Markets. 
Downtown Lee’s Summit in Iowa makes continuing to shop at their classic farmers market easy. With advice from national, state, and local health officials, the opening day of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market had to be postponed. Instead, the Main Street program set up a virtual market on their webpage. This page lists the current offerings from market vendors: available items, delivery options, how to order, and contact information. Learn more.

Pick-Up Market. East Somerville Main Streets’ Pick-Up Market in Massachusetts is a one-stop-shop encouraging residents to support local safely by placing orders online from participating vendors who will then have the customer’s purchase ready for pickup at a central location. Learn more.

Join us in celebrating!

Celebrate this week with us by highlighting your farmers market on social media. We’d especially love to see how your farmers market has adjusted in response to the pandemic. Use hashtags such as #LoveMyMarket, #FarmersMarketWeek, and #WeAreMainStreet. Don’t forget to show off the incredible managers, volunteers, and vendors who bring life to your market!

Further Reading

Farmers markets are vital during COVID-19, but they need more support, Brookings

Farmers Markets Stimulate Local Economies, Farmers Market Coalition

Endless Bounty: The Transformative Benefits of Public Markets, Project for Public Spaces