The mission of the Hart Main Street Program is to work with both the public and private sectors to restore the vitality once common in the downtown district by enhancing our community identity and heritage, fostering a center of activity, and ensuring economic stability through concentrated efforts in organization, promotion, design and business development.
Hart Main Street Vision
Hart Main Street partners with the community to fulfill its mission of creating an attractive downtown gathering place. We invite our community and visitors to experience the arts, music, restaurants, multi-cultural goods, and other services in the beautiful heart of Hart.
Hart Main Street Vision Description for Year 2020
(Visualize reading this in the year 2020.) The City of Hart was designated a Michigan Main Street Community on July 1, 2010. The Hart Main Street area has seen significant changes, not only to its physical characteristics but in the sense of pride of its people. Hart Main Street maintains a large and diverse group of volunteers that drive the organization to fulfill its mission.
The physical changes to the Hart Main Street area have been tremendous. Hart Main Street now has “Hart Commons” which was dedicated in 2012. The commons is situated overlooking beautiful Hart Lake and provides a place of gathering for all ages, used for purposes ranging from just relaxing with wireless internet access to active use as a group entertainment venue. The downtown streetscape is professionally designed to promote pedestrian traffic and a high level of community interaction in the downtown area. John Gurney Park has been re-established as a trailhead for the Hart-Montague Rail Trail, making these non-motorized trails an important tie among neighborhoods and downtown.
Facades in the Hart Main Street area have been improved with respect to their historic character, in part due to guidelines that have been developed and utilized to influence city zoning ordinances to promote historic preservation throughout the city. These buildings house not only thriving businesses but also affordable and modernized living spaces. Hart’s vibrant and attractive downtown has become a backdrop for many annual events year round. Shop Local campaigns, cooperative advertising opportunities and other incentives are showing steady increases to business revenues. Locals, regional residents, and tourists view Hart as a destination due to well organized branding efforts.
Downtown economic development efforts support a strong agricultural community in addition to attracting retail and service businesses. Many small niche businesses continue to emerge through a strong business training and incubator program. The Business Development Team continuously works to retain and recruit new businesses through various business assistance and incentive programs.
The downtown developments, in combination with an annual public relations campaign, have spurred positive changes in surrounding communities. The Hart Main Street program is well known and respected by public officials, community organizations and key stakeholders across the county. Diverse revenue sources continue to fund the program, including strong fundraising efforts that generate 15% of the annual budget, as well as public, private and municipal support.