2021 Virtual Main Street Now Conference

2021 Virtual Main Street Now Conference
When: April 12, 2021 until April 15, 2021, All Day
With three days of immersive online content and networking opportunities, the conference will provide us with the opportunity to reflect on how the events of the past year have changed our work and how we can rebuild stronger, more equitable Main Streets for the future. You’ll hear from national thought leaders, leading Main Street experts, and local practitioners on strategies for strengthening your organization, supporting your small businesses, telling your story, and so much more.
Event Details:

Calling All Small Business Owners!

For small businesses, COVID-19 has presented challenges and disruptions unlike any we’ve known before. To support small business owners as they look ahead to recovery, the virtual Main Street Now Conference will offer an engaging and informative day of sessions with content designed uniquely for small business owners.

Small Business Day, held on Tuesday, April 13, will provide attendees with guidance and actionable insight to help entrepreneurs move forward in our continuously changing commerce landscape. For a discounted registration rate of only $25, Small Business Day attendees will have access to sessions ranging from live, interactive workshops with retail experts and plenaries with thought leaders to a happy hour with fellow entrepreneurs.

What You'll Learn

Small Business Day attendees can look forward to gaining:

  • Trusted insight specific to small businesses, including retailers, restaurants, salons and more

  • Actionable strategies to grow and market your business, including free resources to lean on and learn from

  • Supportive direction from industry retail experts, with several sessions led by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder of Retail Minded

  • Engaging, interactive experiences that welcome attendees to bring their own perspectives while also learning from others

Small Business Day Sessions

Small business day registrants will have access to the sessions below as well as a few additional sessions on April 12 and 14 that will be announced in the coming weeks.

Main Idea Session: Big Plans for the Future of Small Business

In the wake of COVID-19, small businesses are experiencing a crisis of epic proportions with far-ranging economic and social implications. While the future is uncertain for the small businesses that anchor our communities, this moment of reckoning can also be a catalyst for new approaches to supporting entrepreneurs in commercial districts. As we look toward recovery, local governments, small businesses, and place management organizations must work together in new ways to spur regrowth. In this conversation, hear from nationally renowned leaders in the planning, policy, and Main Street worlds about the creative ways that we can focus on district-level solutions to sustain businesses. This session is generously sponsored by American Express.

Featured Speakers:

Bruce Katz, Co-Founder, The New Localism

Kennedy Smith, Senior Researcher, Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Principal with Community Land Use + Economics Group, LLC

Small Business Marketing: Three Ways to Increase Customer Engagement for Physical Storefronts

Let’s face it – retail isn’t what it used to be. Times have changed as a direct result of COVID-19, and consumers and shopping have changed, as well. What has not changed, however, is the desire for customers to engage with small businesses and communities. This session will explore realistic ways for merchants to capture customer attention, keep customer attention and ultimately gain customer dollars specifically in physical stores. With a core focus on COVID-approved best practices and customer-centric experiences, this is a session you won’t want to miss that will offer actionable, realistic insight you can begin applying to your store right away!


Shifting Your Business Model: Five Marketing Strategies to Reach Customers Despite the Challenges of COVID-19

Customer expectations, preferences, and shopping experiences have shifted tremendously due to COVID-19. This session will highlight five marketing strategies that benefit customers and retailers alike– ultimately aiming to help retailers increase both profit and visibility. Expect to gain some no-cost and low-cost strategies to help your retail business survive the challenges of COVID-19 in 2021 and beyond. Plus, be introduced to resources that can help you achieve these goals. Led by Retail Minded's Founder, Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, this session will include experts from companies across the industry.

Coffee & Conversations: Digital Footprints - What Brick & Mortar Stores Need to Know About Being Online


One of the key lessons learned from 2020 is that having an online presence should be a priority for retailers to keep inventory moving– even if their objective is to move inventory from their physical stores. This discussion will offer strategies for physical merchants to sell online – including ways that do not involve having a traditional ecommerce store - while also providing best practices to simply being online. From email marketing to online review sites to community digital offerings and more, expect to gain COVID-approved updates on how to best position your brick-and-mortar store digitally. Join Retail Minded’s Nicole Leinbach Reyhle as she offers direction on ways to expand your selling avenues, increase your customer connectivity and strengthen your overall business awareness. Come with questions, as you’ll have the chance to chime in live during this virtual, round-table discussion!

Happy Hour & Chit Chat: Action Steps to Gaining Visibility & Sales in an Increasingly Challenged Marketplace


Want to gain more attention for your store? Looking to increase profit for your business? Join Retail Minded’s Nicole Leinbach Reyhle as she unveils five ways to do this despite the increasingly competitive retail landscape. While some action steps may be outside your comfort zone, all can help you stay relevant in a challenging marketplace. Come curious. Leave informed. This virtual, round-table discussion is specifically designed to support Main Street communities and their unique offerings, challenges, small businesses and more. Plus, you’ll get the chance to share your questions or comments live during this virtual, round-table discussion!

  Register Now     Schedule of Events

About Main Street Now

The Main Street Now Conference, organized by Main Street America, brings together thousands of local leaders from across the country – and the world – who share a commitment to building vibrancy and economic opportunity in downtowns and commercial districts. With three days of immersive online content and networking opportunities, the conference will provide us with the opportunity to reflect on how the events of the past year have changed our work and how we can rebuild stronger, more equitable Main Streets for the future.  Learn More at MainStreet.org  

Upcoming Events

October 28, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

120 S Main Street, Franklin, VA, 23851

May 16, 2022
All Day

Past Events

September 18, 2021
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

100 E Barrett St, Franklin, VA, 23851

September 8, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

210 South Main Street, Franklin, VA, 23851

September 4, 2021
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

210 South Main Street, Franklin, VA, 23851

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