Thursday, March 05, 2009
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Quinn speaks at national Main Street conference in Chicago

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[March 05, 2009]  CHICAGO -- Gov. Pat Quinn in his welcome to the 2009 National Main Streets Conference emphasized this year's theme of "Engaging the Community with Social Networking."

Insurance"In Illinois there are 60 active Main Street communities with more than 1,500 new downtown businesses, and these communities are credited with creating 3,200 full-time jobs and 2,400 part-time jobs," the governor said. He "encourages the expansion of Main Street's vision for the future."

Barb Reinwald, president of Main Street Lincoln, and its executive director, Wanda Lee Rohlfs, were at the national conference March 1-4.

The trend from national data is a return to the downtowns because they remain the symbolic heart of the community, where community demographics, economics, energy and cost forces come together. There are no new malls being built and the convergence for the chains is to downsize and move back to the center of the community.

Main Street communities are the best place to locate because of their advocacy, energy, organization and commitment of the businesses, property owners, shoppers and residents in those commercial districts.

Quinn concluded that as we are "Becoming Main Street 2.0" -- the conference title -- economic development and community renewal will come as a result.

[Text from file received from Main Street Lincoln]

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