[10 on Tuesday] 10 Ways to Connect Main Street and Hispanic Communities

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Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month this year (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), communities across the country honored the many contributions Hispanic and Latino Americans have made both to our nation and to their own cities and towns. This reflection is a great starting point for thinking about how to revitalize your own community while also honoring diverse heritages. http://blog.preservationnation.org

Text of [10 on Tuesday] 10 Ways to Connect Main Street and Hispanic Communities

  • 1. Hispanic Heritage on Main St.10 Ways to Connect Main Street and HispanicCommunities Photo courtesy cliff1066, Flickr

2. 1. Spot economicopportunities.Hispanic business owners can help revitalizeonce-forsaken downtowns. Encourageentrepreneurs to re-use empty storefronts whenbuilding new businesses.Photo courtesy Norma Ramirez de Miess 3. 2. Get hands-on.Offer tailored, on-site bilingual group training and one-on-oneassistance programs designed for small businesses. Its a greaterinvestment of time and resources, but yields proven results. Photo courtesy Office of Governor Patrick, Flickr 4. Photo courtesy USDAgov, flickr3. Start at the very beginningA truly inclusive Main Street program needs to involveHispanic community members on a planning level, whetherthrough representation on the board of directors,partnerships, or volunteers. 5. 4. and start small.Not all Hispanic business ownersmight be comfortable or familiar withnon-profit organization planning. Itmight make more sense to start withthe group that needs morecoaching, and then strategicallybring other groups in as people buildtrust in the organization.Photo courtesy USDAgov, Flickr 6. 5. Take it offline.Direct rather than indirect forms of communication work well withthe Hispanic community. Have face-to-face meetings or visitindividual businesses, instead of relying solely on email or phonecalls. Photo courtesy ct senatedems, FLickr 7. Photo courtesy Downtown Harlingen6. Throw a party!Special events that celebrate important Hispanic holidays andfestivals are a highly visible way for a Main Street program toappeal to its Hispanic constituents and build a volunteerbase, too. 8. 7. Go bilingual in Spanish.Make sure everyone can understand flyers, posters, and otherpromotional materials. It helps people feel more welcome andinvited. Photo courtesy heacphotos, Flickr 9. Photo courtesy heacphotos, Flickr8. Go bilingual in English.The language barrier can go both ways. Help Hispanicmerchants translate and put up signs and menus in bothlanguages to broaden their customer base. 10. 9. Balance preservationwith cultural aesthetics.Sometimes new business owners have designideas or artistic preferences that clash with theexisting built environment. Bring in architectsand interior designers to work with individualbusinesses and educate business owners aboutpreserving the communitys architecturalheritage.Photo courtesy Downtown Harlingen 11. 10. Know your communitysmakeup.Diverse ethnicities, nationalities,beliefs, and cultures are combinedunder the umbrella terms Hispanicand Latino. Learn your townsparticular makeup and needs so youcan implement initiatives that willbest help local entrepreneurs growtheir businesses and participate indowntown activities. Photo courtesy cliff1066, Flickr 12. Photo courtesy Flavia AlayaWant to read the full article?Check out National Trust Main Street Centers full Story of theWeek, America in Translation: Hispanic Heritage on MainStreet. 13. Ten on Tuesday features ten preservationtips each week. For more tips, visitblog.PreservationNation.org.