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ComCap The Podcast

Jun 15, 2017

 Main Street Funds with Craig Sharton

In towns across the USA, Main Street is often a primary indicator on the state of the economics within the region.  This is where businesses thrive in a vibrant uptime, and shutter in the challenging downturn.  In this episode of ComCap The Podcast, Amy Pearl chats with Craig Scharton, interim CEO of the Downtown Fresno Partnership. Craig is a longtime economic developer, and his most recent project included a DPO offering for community investors to buy up main street Fresno real estate for redevelopment.  His grand plan for a more equitable share of main street ownership was ambitious and exciting.  Unfortunately the fund did not meet the minimum investment requirements to continue and so Craig has since moved on to other initiatives.  Get ready for some valuable insights and many laughs as Craig shares his story.



Amy Pearl, Hatch Innovation



Craig Scharton, Downtown Fresno Partnership

Craig Scharton was the Director of the Downtown and Community Revitalization Department for the City of Fresno.  During his career, he has served as a local elected official, a real estate entrepreneur, and as a non-profit executive director of two Main Street programs and the Central Valley Business Incubator.  He is a Lecturer for a course titled Urban Entrepreneurship, through Fresno State’s Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and has an M.S. in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

In this episode you’ll learn

  • Craig’s long running background with civic work and economic redevelopment
  • The story of Craig’s Direct Public Offering for downtown Fresno redevelopment
  • What  informed his decision to create a public fund for downtown redevelopment
  • Limitations of other investment strategies
  • Data and statistics that support specific revitalization strategies
  • Lessons learned from his experience with the DPO

Links to Resources Mentioned

Hatch Innovation

Market Creek Plaza

Cutting Edge Capital




“To those communities that are sitting on that old theater and they don’t know what to do with it, this is the perfect solution, everyone buys in, no one takes too much risk, you get it going, it can be operated in a way that you are not relying on some out of town person to guess what your community needs”