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Keith Kjelstrom

Keith Kjelstrom

Economic Positioning PA

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Keith Kjelstrom provides services in commercial district revitalization, economic development, land use planning, and strategic planning for local and state governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations. With 30 years of experience in economic development, he is a seasoned analyst, facilitator, presenter and trainer. As New Mexico MainStreet's economic positioning program associate, he specializes in helping communities to harness the tools and techniques of business development, including market analysis, business strengthening, business recruitment, and project funding development. Keith served with California Main Street for 11 years, including 8 years as director. Early in his career, he was a local Main Street manager. He holds a master's degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in political economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Recent Articles

Tastes, Stats and Prizes in Harding County


June 4th, 2015 | Category: Economic Restructuring

Bacon cheese burgers, chile relleno bites, smoked baby back ribs, chili, steak sliders, Reuben sandwich care packages, and campfire bread pudding. Harding County MainStreet EDC showcased the region’s best chefs to demonstrate that culinary temptations will round up the county and get folks in the mood to explore the economic challenges and opportunities analyzed by UNM’s Bureau of Business… READ MORE


BBER Visits T or C


June 1st, 2015 | Category: Economic Restructuring

Jeff Mitchell, Director, and Gillian Joyce, Research Scientist, with UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research presented their Community Economic Assessment to MainStreet Truth or Consequences last week.  The town’s challenges of an aging population, low incomes and lack of jobs are offset by opportunities for further growth in the transportation, accommodations, hospitality, and retail… READ MORE


Atlanta’s Ponce City Market


April 15th, 2015 | Category: Economic Restructuring

In conjunction with the National Main Streets Conference, economic positioning staff from around the country convene to share strategies on how to boost their services for local Main Street programs.  This year’s meetings included a tour of Atlanta’s inspiring Ponce City Market, a mixed-use project that is rehabilitating the 1926 Sears distributions center, right on… READ MORE


Support for Culture-Based Business


January 20th, 2015 | Category: Arts & Cultural Districts, Economic Restructuring

Several organizations make it a point to focus assistance to our artist-entrepreneurs.  Operating out of their offices in Mesilla, New Mexico Handmade, Inc., http://newmexicohandmade.org/, provides business development coaching to low-income artists in southern New Mexico.  Statewide, veteran small business technical and financial assistance non-profit WESST operates six locations, with lots of experience serving arts and culture-based… READ MORE


Building Creative Communities Conference Success!


November 24th, 2014 | Category: Building Creative Communities Conference

  Thanks to all of you who participated and made the inaugural Building Creative Communities Conference held last week (November 12-14) in Santa Fe a great success! “Inspirational new ideas for new projects and connections and potential collaborations!” That is the feedback on the evaluation form from one of the 180 attendees, and reflects the comments… READ MORE


About the Building Creative Communities Conference


September 25th, 2014 | Category: Building Creative Communities Conference

The New Mexico Building Creative Communities Conference fosters collaborative local and state efforts that integrate commercial district revitalization, arts, tourism and preservation.  Only through interdisciplinary strategies can our communities dynamically sustain effective initiatives and be resilient in the face of economic challenges. The inaugural conference is constructed around three interconnected themes. Build Upon Our History. … READ MORE


The Economic Impacts of MainStreet


July 21st, 2014 | Category: Economic Restructuring

February saw the release of In the New Mexico Tradition: The Impacts of MainStreet, 1985-2013 at New Mexico MainStreet’s Winter Leadership Network Meeting in Santa Fe. Author Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics presented the study’s findings and advised NMMS communities on how to capitalize on our network’s impressive performance statistics. See the full report on our… READ MORE


Recruiting Businesses Through Your Website


June 10th, 2014 | Category: Economic Restructuring

by Keith Kjelstrom, NM MainStreet Program Associate New Mexico MainStreet programs are building better websites by adding or enhancing business development (BD) features. Surf the web to find lots of great examples. For a comprehensive BD page with links to businesses, business climate, real estate, business resources, incentives, infrastructure and development plans, check out downtown… READ MORE


Top Five Tasks for the EP Team


April 21st, 2014 | Category: Economic Restructuring

Budgets are tight.  Volunteers are spread thin.  And often, the MainStreet manager’s time is constrained.  In the road ahead, we really need to build our capacity to perform higher levels of business development.  Right now, staying focused on five priority activities will ensure that your local MainStreet program runs a lean, mean, business development machine.… READ MORE


The Importance of Business Visits


January 28th, 2014 | Category: Economic Restructuring

From the NMMS eNewsletter November 2011 Emails, texts, flyers, mixers, workshops, and phone calls are all great ways for the MainStreet organization to stay connected with the district’s business owners.  But nothing beats old-fashioned, face-to-face, personal visits in owners’ shops.  The problem is, we don’t do enough of them.  Perhaps the new manager pounds the… READ MORE




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