Our Vision

Our vision is to maintain a vibrant, welcoming downtown area with opportunities for all ages, featuring a diverse business mix.

Our pedestrian friendly downtown & riverfront will be a destination for shopping, community events and festivals.

Our Mission

To facilitate the continued growth and revitalization of Otsego’s vibrant downtown district through economic development & community empowerment.

What is Otsego Main Street?

Otsego is proud to be a member of the Michigan Main Street family. After a lengthy and competitive process, Otsego was selected in March 2013 by the Michigan Main Street Center as a Select Level Main Street Community.  Currently, there are 18 Main Street communities in the state. Read our story here.

The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a community-driven, comprehensive strategy that encourages economic development through historic preservation in ways that are appropriate for today’s marketplace. The four points include:

Design
Enhancing the downtown’s physical environment by capitalizing on its best assets including historic buildings, and creating an inviting atmosphere through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, streetscapes and landscaping. The Main Street Program also focuses on instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems and integrating long-term planning.

Economic Vitality
Strengthening a community’s existing economic base while also expanding and diversifying it. By helping existing businesses expand and recruiting new businesses to respond to today’s market, the Main Street program helps convert unused spaces into productive properties and sharpens the competitiveness of business enterprises.

Promotion
Marketing a downtown’s unique characteristics to residents, visitors, investors and business owners. The Main Street program develops a positive, promotional strategy through advertising, retail activities, special events & festivals and marketing campaigns to encourage commercial activity and investment in the area.

Organization
Involving all of the community’s stakeholders, getting everyone working toward a common goal and driving the volunteer-based Main Street Program. The fundamental organizational structure consists of a governing board and four standing committees. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director or Main Street Manager. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, it builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.

The most unique component of this program is that it requires wide spread community support through volunteerism and strong private and public collaborations. The above four points are carried out via committees that are entirely volunteer based. Otsego is working hard to deepen our volunteer base through recruitment efforts.

As a branch of the City of Otsego, the program is funded primarily through a tax capture of the DDA district, however, private donations are essential to the success of the program. Events and promotions also contribute to funding needs.

(The Main Street Four Point Approach was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1977 in response to continued threats to historic commercial architecture and economic activity in small-city downtowns. The Michigan Main Street Center works in cooperation with the National Main Street Center to provide resources and technical assistance.)