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If you ask me why we chose to move to the small town in Florida that we moved to, I would tell you that Main Street had a lot to do with it. I grew up in a town whose downtown was once vibrant with people, business, and a lot of activity. That was, however, many years before I was born. I never saw that personally, but I often see photos shared that display the energy that once was.

I know this is something that many people can say when it comes to their downtown. As suburbs became more popular, families moved outside of their once vibrant downtowns to raise their families in a quieter location, leaving downtowns across America ghost towns. Just memories on old photos or stories told is all that’s left to the abandoned buildings that line the street.

Many areas across America are working to change that and bring back the energy their downtowns once held, also known as their Main Street. Today, Wayne Carter, who is the Executive Director of the Award Winning MainStreet DeLand Association sat with me to talk about it.

Today, we are talking about:

  • What exactly is MainStreet
  • Why is MainStreet so important
  • What does MainStreet bring to a community
  • What does it do for the economy and small businesses
  • How can an area start a MainStreet initiative in their area
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About Wayne Carter

Wayne Carter began his involvement in Florida Main Street as a volunteer. In 2005 he became the Special Events Coordinator and later the Executive Director for Eustis Main Street. In 2013, Wayne became the Executive Director for the award-winning MainStreet DeLand Association.

Wayne received a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University. Wayne’s small business experience included restaurant management, direct sales, and financial services representative including acquiring the highly recognized CFP®
designation. His affection for volunteering and being a part of the community led to his decision to become a Main Streeter.

With more than 15 years of Main Street experience, Wayne remembers the struggles of being a new manager, the various trials communities face, and experiencing some of the best that Main Street can offer. He is able to draw on his personal experiences along with the knowledge gained from being a student of the Main Street Approach® to offer guidance to struggling directors and communities. Wayne, and a few other experienced Main Street leaders, formed the Florida
Downtown Association in 2019 to support the Florida Main Street Program and to be a resource for local Main Street communities and their Executive Directors in Florida.

Links Mentioned in the Interview

Wayne Carter contact: Wa***@Ma**************.org

MainStreet DeLand

Main Street National

Florida Downtown Association

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