Tuesday, December 8, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CST
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Laura Mendez
Main Street Alabama

Main Street Alabama invites you to join this free webinar, "Protecting Legacy Businesses" with Speaker Kennedy Smith, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Local Self Reliance.


Legacy businesses are core components of our communities’ identities. As the community’s oldest businesses, they have played a central role in its history and evolution over the years. They are sometimes the sites of historic events themselves. And they sometimes carry on craft and  traditions that are becoming increasingly rare. But they sometimes also face unique threats, including finding new markets, finding new owners, and balancing financial challenges. In this webinar, we will look at some of the problems facing legacy businesses, examine some programs designed to help protect them, and also look at some great, inspiring examples of legacy businesses themselves.


Kennedy is a Senior Researcher with the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), where her work focuses on on analyzing the factors threatening independent businesses and developing policy tools that communities can use to address these issues and build thriving, equitable local economies. She is one of the nation’s foremost experts on commercial district revitalization and independent business development.

In addition to her work at ILSR, Kennedy is an advisor to the Community Land Use and Economics Group (CLUE), a downtown business development consulting firm she co-founded in 2004. Prior to that, she served on the staff of the National Main Street Center for 19 years, the last 14 of them as the Center’s director. During her tenure as director of the National Main Street program, the program was recognized as one of the most successful economic development initiatives in the US. Kennedy has received many awards and recognitions for her work, including being named one of the “100 Most Influential Urbanists of All Time” by Planetizen in 2017.