Do Our Communities Need a County-Wide Main Street Program?

Proposing a Regional Main Street Program in Wallowa County

On May 4th and 5th a series of walking tours, conversations and a county-wide public meeting were held with Sheri Stuart, Manager of the Oregon Main Street Program. The purpose of the visit was to explain and explore the possibility of establishing a county-wide Regional Main Street Program. Benefits of a Main Street program include support for historic preservation, new businesses and downtown improvements; access to special funding; and a structure for collaborative efforts to increase livability and maintain vibrancy of small rural towns.  

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) and the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce are conducting outreach and hosting activities to explore the feasibility of a Regional Main Street program in Wallowa County. Instead of being limited to one town, a regional Main Street structure allows a group of small rural communities to participate in Oregon Main Street programs with a single entity convening and managing the program for all the participating communities. “We’re starting conversations with business owners, non-profits and community members to gauge interest and learn about the types of projects people want to support in their communities,” says Lisa Dawson, Executive Director at NEOEDD. “We hope to hear from everyone who likes to support their hometown, including business owners, people new to the community, and younger residents.” 

There are several ways to participate: 

  • Take a short online survey to share information about plans, challenges and ideas for your business and/or community 
  • Request an interview with NEOEDD and answer a few questions about your interests and projects 

 For more information, contact Chantal Ivenso,, 541 426 3598. 

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Walking tours planned to look at need for County-Wide Main Street Program – Elkhorn Media Group
April 22, 2022 at 1:05 pm

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