Seymour Main Street awarded $20,000

Seymour Main Street is three-for-three in applying for the Taking Care of Main Street grant opportunity offered through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

That office and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch recently announced 10 Indiana Main Street organizations will receive $149,520 in funding through the program, which provides organizational support for activities and administrative functions necessary to meet the new accreditation standards for state and nationally accredited Indiana Main Street programs.

The goal of the grant program is to support organizations as they transition to the new accreditation standards implemented by Main Street America. By providing this financial assistance, the organizations will be able to provide direct assistance for growing economic development initiatives in their community, including business retention and recruitment, organizational growth, transformation strategy implementation and more.

Eligible expenses include salaries, administrative or consultant fees, space or equipment rental or staff development and training.

Seymour Main Street Executive Director Bri Roll said Indiana Main Street has developed strong relationships with all programs in the state to successfully communicate available funding opportunities, including Taking Care of Main Street.

This time around, Seymour Main Street was awarded $20,000.

“Ecstatic,” Roll said of her reaction to the news. “The funding we receive will better position our organization to recruit new business while supporting our existing businesses. It will also position us well as we are moving into a more robust national accreditation process. The standards are shifting, requiring each program to meet six standards within our operations with defined key performance indicators.”

This third round of Taking Care of Main Street funds will help Seymour Main Street improve its lowest performance areas, ensuring national accreditation is retained, Roll said.

“Each round, the TCOM application has evolved,” she said. “This year, there were specific areas the funds could be used for. To qualify, we had to submit work plans, professional service quotes, detailed descriptions of the scope of work, timelines for execution and data supporting proof of a need for the funding.”

In July 2022, Seymour Main Street secured the professional consulting services of The Veridus Group of Indianapolis to assist with the implementation of a downtown streetscape master plan. That project, which incorporates planning documents from multiple organizations into one master vision, began in August and finished in February of this year.

The plan details ways to improve the design and development of the downtown through greenspaces, placemaking, multimodal accommodations, cohesive site furnishings and a gateway to the downtown, Roll said.

In addition to visual enhancements, the plan identifies procedural improvements to address neglected buildings and encourage revitalization efforts in the downtown area.

“The original contract included creating a master document based on community input, existing planning documents, demographic research, creative design suggestions and S.M.A.R.T. goals implementable within the next two to three years,” Roll said. “Moving forward, Seymour Main Street is leveraging the professional experience and expertise of Veridus Group to assist our program with implementing the S.M.A.R.T. goals in the master plan.”

The additional Taking Care of Main Street funding will go toward consulting fees for The Veridus Group to analyze Seymour Main Street’s existing business recruitment and attraction toolkit for inefficiencies and improvements, Roll said.

“The application was limited to only one area of use, and we felt the area in most need of support surrounded our business attraction and retention efforts,” she said. “They will work with us to develop a list of complimentary business types the community would support and benefit from.”

Seymour Main Street can use the datacentric list to strategically recruit those businesses to establish a downtown location, Roll said.

“The new contract with Veridus includes deliverables, such as creating strategies to attract and retain businesses downtown, identifying potential retail and commercial gaps and creating a list of target business types for recruitment,” she said.

“Additionally, they will analyze our existing incentives and provide an improved incentive toolkit to encourage redevelopment and expansion in the downtown as well as identify support mechanisms for the current business ecosystem,” she said. “They will also provide a plan for neglected buildings and vacant storefronts, a vision for first floor and upper floor uses and develop a property owner resource group.”

Roll said she wants to thank Crouch for the ongoing support and continuing to offer funding opportunities to expand capacity and efficiency for the state’s Main Street programs.

In addition, she appreciates the district elected officials, District 69 Rep. Jim Lucas and District 44 Sen. Eric Koch, for their advocacy efforts and representing the historic downtown needs at the state level.

“We are also thankful for our local partnerships with the city of Seymour, redevelopment commission, city council, Community Foundation of Jackson County, Jackson County Visitor Center and the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, who have all played vital roles in the growth, resiliency and sustainability of our program,” Roll said.

For information on the Taking Care of Main Street program, visit