The Maryland Main Street Program
The Sykesville Main Street Association (SMSA) was created in 2011. It is a part of the Main Street Maryland Program. The program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Main Street Maryland selects communities who have made a commitment to succeed and helps them improve the economy, appearance, and image of their traditional downtown business districts through the Main Street four-point approach for commercial revitalization, which is organized into the following committees: Design, Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring, and Green, Clean & Safe. The SMSA became Main Street America accredited Main Steet Program in 2014.
During its 10 years of operations, the Sykesville Main Street Association has implemented the Main Street Approach™* to serve the residents of Sykesville, its visitors, and the merchant community. From the creation of the community garden, the development of the South branch skatepark, the restoration of the Main Street sign, the bike rack and sound system installations, the creation of Parklet, various art exhibits, and the management of a 6-month Farmers Market to the design of a full and diverse event calendar, the Downtown Sykesville Connection’s staff and volunteers tirelessly work towards fulling the mission of our organization: to improve the quality of life downtown Sykesville for residents, visitors, and the business community. The Downtown Sykesville Connection is also responsible for administering state grants like the Downtown Lighting, Facade Improvement Program, the Nonprofit Assistance fund that financed the Farmers Market, and other State and corporate funding awarded to the Downtown Sykesville Connection to support projects, activities, and partners.
The Downtown Sykesville Connection is thrilled to continue its journey as a stand-alone community non-profit striving to foster a vibrant downtown through economic development, promotion, design, and green initiatives.
The Downtown Sykesville Connection will keep showcasing our small town through a rich calendar of events crafted to cater to residents of all ages and visitors seeking unique experiences and new trends. The Downtown Sykesville Connection will remain focused on the beautification of our town and the preservation of its historical heritage.
- The Main Street Approach™ offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. The Main Street Approach helps communities get started with revitalization, and grows with them over time.
The Design Committee takes charge of enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
Design Committee Chair: Dana Alonzi
Design Committee Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Contact DowntownSykesvilleConnection@gmail.com for the latest location information.
The Organization Committee is tasked with building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in revitalization. The Organization Committee supports the DSC’s mission by recruiting and training volunteers for events or committee involvement. The Organization Committee is undergoing restructuring to embrace the overarching diversity focus of the organization.
The Promotion Committee works on marketing the traditional commercial district’s assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens, and visitors.
Promotion Committee Chair: Helene Taylor
Promotion Committee Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7 pm, in one of the downtown restaurants. Email DowntownSykesvilleConnection@gmail.com for the monthly location (in-person meetings have not resumed yet).
The Economic Development Committee works to strengthen the district’s existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities and challenges from outlying development.
Economic Development Committee Chair: Jen Elliott
Economic Development Committee Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 1 pm, virtually. Email DowntownSykesvilleConnection@gmail.com for the Zoom link.
The Green, Clean & Safe Committee seeks to make Sykesville a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work, and play, while promoting individual responsibility for the community environment. The Green Committee and Keep Sykesville Beautiful Program share projects and volunteers. The Green Committee focuses on improving and maintaining the downtown gardens and their schedule of educational programs.
Green, Clean & Safe Committee Chair: Laura Donnel
Green, Clean & Safe Committee Meetings: 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Sykesville ‘Eileen M. Merkle’ Community Garden, weather permitting, 7:15 pm. Contact DowntownSykesvilleConnection@gmail.com for the latest information.
Sykesville Facade Improvement 50/50 Matching Grant
The Façade Improvement Program offers matching funds for façade improvement. Building and/or business owners can apply for up to 50% percent of the cost of their improvement project. The maximum matching grant contribution by the Town is $ 10,000. The minimum grant contribution is $500. Work completed prior to a letter of commitment is not eligible for funding. The goal of the project is to encourage building renovation, historic preservation and improved economic vitality by providing funding to upgrade Downtown Sykesville building façades. Here is the application FacadeImprovementApplication
Sykesville’s Affiliations and Honors:
- 2020 Independent We Stand’s Best Main Street in America
- 2016 Budget Travel magazine’s Coolest Small Town in America
- Maryland Designated Sustainable Community
- Maryland Municipal League Banner City
- A Maryland Main Street Designation
- Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area
- National Register of Historic Places
- National Main Street Program – 2013 Accreditation
- Sykesville awarded the 2013 MML Achievement Award for Tourism