As the proud heart of Hancock County, downtown Greenfield is full of opportunities for small business owners and local residents alike. Fostering these connections is Greenfield Main Street, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing a vibrant place for our community to be. Today we’re talking with Debra Smith, executive director of Greenfield Main Street, about recent changes made and exciting events to look forward to in coming months. 

What is Greenfield Main Street and what does it do for the city? 

Founded in 2008, Greenfield Main Street is part of a larger national Main Street Initiative to bring more awareness to local downtown areas in small towns across the country. Following the national initiative’s patented four-pillar approach to further momentum, the foundation of Greenfield Main Street includes:

  • Organization focuses on fundraising, staffing and how the initiative is run as a whole.
  • Promotion centers on the promotion of both the City of Greenfield and the Greenfield Main Street initiative, as well as planning community events.
  • Economic vitality is focused on serving small businesses and helps to host quarterly merchant meetings where business owners can learn and receive support.
  • Design works on historic preservation in Greenfield and disperses facade and renovation grants that businesses can apply for to further beautify downtown.

As executive director, Smith oversees the four committees based on each of these pillars and serves as the face and voice of Greenfield Main Street. She also builds relationships with local merchants and remains accessible to support their businesses. 

How does Greenfield Main Street support the community? 

When Smith was hired last spring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it allowed her to do more research on the needs of local residents and business owners. “We spent a lot of time over the past year doing surveys and listening to what the community has to say,” she explained. “So all of the events this year are new or updated based on survey feedback and COVID-safe regulations.”

Greenfield Main Street events for 2021 are all COVID-friendly with outdoor venues and social distancing options. Recent surveys had an overwhelming response for more family-friendly events, so they are making it a point to offer more free and low-cost events that the whole family can attend. For example, the recent Touch-a-Truck free event on March 13 brought in an estimated 1,500-2,000 attendees, with some even driving up to an hour to visit Greenfield.

The organization is also continuing to foster more connections with local merchants. “We want to let them know that we’re here to listen and we are in their corner to help as an ally,” said Smith. “We want to see their business succeed just as much as they do.”

What events do we have to look forward to this spring and summer?

A returning event for Greenfield Main Street is the eighth annual Bikes in Bloom, where local businesses and nonprofits can sign up to decorate a bicycle with flowers in a designated spot downtown, themed to their organization. Beginning May 9, you can catch these beautiful bikes all over downtown Greenfield through June 20. 

And a new event for 2021 is the Mutts on Main Dog Costume Parade and Pet Expo. Registration fees for the parade will go to support Greenfield Main Street and the Hancock County Humane Society, and the winners of the Bikes in Bloom decorating contest will be announced at the vendor expo, along with live music and a variety of food trucks. 

Smith is especially thankful for the many partnerships Greenfield Main Street maintains with local sponsors and donors. “Without these donations,” said Smith, “none of these activities would be possible.” If you’d like to learn more about Greenfield Main Street or become a member, you can visit today.