earns grant to help develop
citys branding campaign
is part of state program
to help downtown areas
(November 2007) Madison, Ind., stands to receive
a $20,000 grant as part of the states $213,600 in separate awards
provided to 13 Downtown Enhancement Projects across Indiana. Indiana
Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman announced the awards on Oct. 18.
The Madison Main Street Program received the award, which will be used
for a new city branding campaign. The project is part of the citys
effort to develop its image to help market the recent National Historic
Landmark District status.
photo by Don Ward
officials are hoping to develop
a marketing campaign to promote
Madison's historic district.
The new Downtown Enhancement Grant is a competitive grant
program designed to enhance the development of downtown business districts
in Indianas Main Street communities. The new program is administered
by Indiana Main Street and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural
The grant program was designed to encourage innovative approaches to
activities that support and promote community-based planning, marketing
and restoration efforts.
At an earlier spring meeting in Madison, Indiana Main Street Program
Director Jo Grandel announced the creation of the grants. She said the
focus of the grant will be to assist Main Street communities with their
marketing and promotion projects. While all the details were not then
worked out, Grandel told Main Street directors to be creative
when the applications became available. She said, We want to customize
the need of each Main Street community, and we do not want to squelch
Nancy Gruner, president of Madison Main Street Program, heard that message
and realized efforts by organizations in Madison to develop a brand
or logo for the city would fit the requirements of the grant program.
We are absolutely thrilled with the outside resources provided
to us by the state for this project, she said.
Gruner said several groups have contributed towards funding the campaign.
They include the Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, which offered
$10,000 in funding; Madison-Jefferson County Economic Development Corp.
or MIDCOR, with a $1,000 contribution; the City of Madison, with a $10,000
contribution; the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, with a $5,000 contribution.
The other partners in the campaign are Madison Main Street Program,
Historic Madison Inc., and the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.
Several other organizations are slated to come on board as this
project goes forward, said Gruner. We have gotten many of
the key players in the community on board; it is a great partnership.
She wrote the grant proposal but said many other people also worked
hard to develop a cooperative of organizations in Madison, including
Madison CVB Executive Director Linda Lytle.
Lytle said the tourism office has wanted to do a branding project for
a while, so officials were excited when this enhancement grant opportunity
was presented. The whole community is represented, she said.
This is the first time for such a project.
Although details have not been worked out because the money was just
awarded, Lytle said the next phase of the project included getting ideas
from 12 to 14 companies and choosing the right consultant to develop
the branding and logo package for marketing.
We are making plans to set up meetings and choose the right consultant,
she said. Communities that have done this before have come out
with great products.
Gruner said the group has an 18-month window from start to finish to
bring together all the partners, hire a consultant and develop a brand
and logo. There are so many different messages out there about
Madison. A united front with the same message will give everyone more
power and potential.
MIDCOR Executive Director Corey Murphy said his organization got involved
in the project because historic downtown Madison is a key asset for
the community. This is an opportunity to increase recognition
of the city on a regional, national and international level, said
Murphy, who also sits on the tourism board. This will have a definite
positive economic impact on the entire community.
The cooperative effort of the various organizations to work toward the
overall good of the entire community is also something MIDCOR encourages,
he said. Anytime organizations partner and move forward with a
common interest, it only benefits the entire community, Murphy
said. We are pleased to be a partner with other organizations
in our community.
The money for the 50-50 matching grants comes from old Commerce
Department allocations. Previously, the Indiana Department of
Commerce was in charge of tourism, economic development, energy and
community development before new agencies were created under the new
Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Madison Main Street, which is one of 16 state-designated Main Street
Programs, sponsors Light Up Madison each December, the summer
Music in the Park series, Shop-n-Treats for
children, and other events in the community. The purpose of the program
is to encourage the economic development, redevelopment and improvement
of the downtown area, state officials said.
Back to November 2007