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Enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of historic downtown business districts in Missouri.

Public and Private INVESTMENT

$1000000000

Net new businesses

834

Net New jobs

4109

volunteer hours

444113

Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.

 

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Holidays are when Main Street comes alive and becomes increasingly busier as community members and guests shop, visit, and enjoy downtown and the events that take place during the winter holiday season. This means both the local Main Street organization and its businesses are busy meeting the needs of their customers. As a result of the holiday frenzy, on-site visits are slowing down a bit, but there is still a lot of action in the Downtown Strong grant program.

 

The Downtown Strong: Building Resilient Economies grant has been successful so far due to its scope, which is to strengthen individual businesses and local Main Street organizations that have faced hardships due to the pandemic, by providing one-on-one consultations.



 

There is some flexibility in these services that allows the consultant to adapt their delivery to meet the most current needs as they work with the businesses and organizations. This process ensures recipients are receiving what they need for long-term success. 

 

Our team of consultants use their years of professional experience in evaluating the needs of the businesses and organizations to provide services that address true needs. In addition, the consultants are collaborating as the need arises when they work with businesses or communities that are receiving multiple services. These services often overlap or affect the other and consultants are working to make the process as efficient and effective as possible.


 

 

Over the last month our communities and consultants have seen good movement along the progression of this grant. BOLD was back on-site in Dutchtown providing training for The Wink which included setting up protocols, roles, and talking through strategies for ads with follow-up training planned in January to teach them to fully manage their social media and advertising.

 

Downtown Lee’s Summit started work with Jim Thompson who is helping them figure out the best ways to utilize and track information for future development as Lee’s Summit changes overtime, with many changes happening right now. This includes learning how to read demographic surveys and information of the community and how to best manage and utilize their building and business inventory. Also, during the past month, Downtown Strong Project Manager Marla Mills was able to visit and follow-up independently with several businesses in Lee’s Summit.


 

 

Jim Thompson also worked on-site with Clinton Main Street to develop the best process to use their demographic information for business recruitment.

 

Ben Muldrow with Arnett Muldrow and Associates did some on-site work in Trenton and, along with Jim Thompson, worked with Main Street Chillicothe as they work on recruitment, district marketing and upper story development.

 

Russ Volmert with Fora Planning was on-site with Downtown Lee’s Summit and Downtown Excelsior Partnership working on wayfinding plans. In addition, he is working with Warrensburg Main Street on a public space utilization plan. All things that will support the future development of these three downtowns!

 

The rest of our consultant team continue to work behind the scenes on research, strategies, and plans when not on-site with our communities. With the Holiday season starting, the on-site visits are slowing down, but that doesn’t mean work has stopped.


 

 

If you have any questions or want to chat about this program or your services, please reach out to Project Manager, Marla Mills.

 

The services detailed in this update were prepared by Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. using Federal funds under award 05-79-06056 from Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Through 2021, Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) has been working with our St. Louis Main Streets districts to educate them on the Main Street Approach™, establish their Board and committees, and prioritize the goals for their districts to succeed.


Following visits from consultants specializing in all areas of the Main Street Approach™, Dutchtown Main Streets was presented with and accepted two Transformation Strategies that will guide their organization’s revitalization work. Their guiding Transformation Strategies are Entrepreneurship Development and Serving the Neighborhood. These strategies build on the entrepreneurial spirit that is already present and working in Dutchtown as well as the residential density that surrounds the commercial district.


The Laclede’s Landing Neighborhood Association has worked to establish their Board of Directors and set up committees. MMSC worked with the organization to gain insight from the district’s stakeholders including property owners, business owners, and residents to better inform their revitalization work. In November, MMSC staff and our team of consultants will work with Laclede’s Landing to determine next steps for the organization to take in utilizing the Main Street Approach™ for their district revitalization.


MMSC has recently accepted the third St. Louis Main Streets district into the pilot program. Delmar Main Streets has established their Board of Directors and are in the early stages of learning how best to utilize the Main Street Approach™ in their district by setting up their committees and gathering neighborhood input. MMSC’s consultant team will work with the district to determine the organization and district brand as well as the collective vision for the district.


St. Louis Main Streets is a pilot urban Main Street program created by Missouri Main Street Connection through partnership with the St. Louis Development Corporation to bring the Main Street Approach™ to three commercial districts in St. Louis.


If you have any questions regarding the St. Louis Main Streets pilot program, MMSC, or the Main Street Approach™ call our office at 417-334-3014 or email us at  info@momainstreet.org.

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AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Missouri Main Street Connection Historic Preservation Committee had its first “Doctor Is In” consultation in September with Julie McBride, owner of Wyoming Street Wine Stop in Pleasant Hill, MO. Wyoming Street Wine Stop serves a variety of food and wines from all around the world making it truly a destination business for Pleasant Hill. Julie, along with her husband Robert, look to provide an experience for the residents of Pleasant Hill and draw in bikers from the nearby Katy Trail.


Julie reached out to Missouri Main Street Connection’s Historic Preservation Committee for help with renovating the façade of her building and the funding options for the renovation. The original vision was to tear out the existing storefront in order to try to recreate the original façade from when the building was first constructed in the early 1900s. During the meeting, the committee recommended adding an attractive awning and paint, as well as suggesting preventative upkeep measures for the building as ways to enhance the existing storefront instead of recreating the original storefront. These recommendations came from reviewing the history of the community, district, and building by the committee in preparation for the meeting. The building that currently houses the Wyoming Street Wine Stop gained its existing storefront as part of a major renovation that happened in the 1950s, which is the same period of significance that was part of the National Register nomination for the Pleasant Hill National Register district.


Even though the storefront is not original, it is still historic at over 70 years old and coincides with the historic significance of the district. Making changes to the existing façade is important versus making drastic changes to the look, in order to be eligible for historic tax credits and to keep the building historically significant. These recommendations considered the historic tax credit program and what qualifies as an eligible expense to provide guidance for Julie in where to start with historic tax credits and who she should talk to if historic tax credits are to be potentially used on the project.


The meeting provided direction for her and her husband as they talk with an architect on the next steps following their meeting. Currently, the upper floor and back of the building are the primary focus, with the enhancement of the façade to be completed after these first projects. The upper floor is planned to be activated and turned into residential use. “Thank you and the team so much for taking the time to help Robert and I navigate historic preservation,” said Julie McBride after the consultation was completed and follow-up material was given.


The Historic Preservation Committee is ready to help you with any preservation-related questions that you or a downtown stakeholder may have. “We welcome any and all applicants from Missouri Main Street Connection’s top three Tiers to submit an application to the Historic Preservation Committee. We’re ready to help and be of service to downtown districts in Missouri,” said John Vietmeier, the chair of the Historic Preservation Committee. This meeting serves as the initial consultation and the connector for future steps needed. Historic preservation-related discussions could include but are not limited to: façade renovation assistance, building materials and maintenance issues, historic tax credits, and funding questions.


If you are interested in talking with the team of professionals about a historic preservation-related question, you can fill out a short form outlining the problem here: https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=1099.


All submissions should be turned into Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, by email at ben@momainstreet.org. Please attach all applicable pictures to the submission. After receipt, Ben will follow up with any additional materials and information needed and work to set a time to join the virtual meeting. Applicants must be in a community from the top three MMSC Tiers: Accredited, Associate, or Affiliate. 

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AUTHOR
Ben White »

Our Affiliate Tier is home to many different types of communities from urban pilot programs enrolled in Saint Louis Main Streets, community programs getting started through the Community Empowerment Grant (CEG) program, and communities that have graduated out of the CEG program and are strong, sustainable revitalization organizations like the Historic River District, the Main Street program in Ozark, Missouri.

 

The Historic River District fully utilized their time in the Community Empowerment Grant program (formerly the Affiliate Grant Program) and built the foundation of a strong, sustainable organization that is making an impact in downtown Ozark. Chris Schafer, the President of Historic River District, remarked about their organizations time in the CEG program:

 

“I would recommend the grant services to anyone that is looking to improve their community. The training and structure that was given through these grant services were second to none from an organization (Main Street) that truly understands what it takes to improve your downtown community. It is unbelievable how much support and information is available on what to do to improve your community and how to go about it. The training opportunities that were afforded to us gave the direction and guidance for what each committee needed to work."

 

Chris Schafer lists the amazing things that have happened in their community since graduating out of the Community Empowerment Grant from placemaking and beautification to community amenities to even events:

• A veterans tribute on the anniversary of the end of the WWI in conjunction with the Christian County Museum and the local American Legion;

• Trunk or Treat Event on the Square;

• Cruising the Square event;

• The Heart of Ozark Gala;

• Haunted Walking Tour program in the fall;

• Friday Night Parade of Lights;

• A beautiful mural along South Jackson Street; and

• A new Gazebo on the Christian County square.

 

"This Affiliate Grant also helped us to build strong relationships with both city and county government. It has been a blessing to our organization and our community," Chris Schafer.

 

If you are interested in revitalizing your downtown using the structured services and resources of the Community Empowerment Grant program, please reach out to Program Outreach Specialist Ben White at ben@momainstreet.org or (816) 560-1722 for more information.

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The USDA Rural Grant named by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) the My Community Matters Grant ended in 2021 after providing over 29 services for 10 different Main Street districts.  The services provided followed the National Main Street Four-Points of Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion for the following communities: Brunswick, Butler, Canton, Concordia, Fayette, Kirksville, Knob Noster, Odessa, Monroe City, Rockaway Beach, Sikeston, and Willow Springs.

 

The services provided ranged from branding and marketing, development of communication tools, business development, store design consultations, façade photo-renderings, placemaking, streetscape design, board and volunteer development, and upper floor housing development. We have shared many of the products developed over the past 2 years of the grant and would like to share some of the highlights from various communities.

 

Communications Tools

 

Fayette Main Street participated in the IMPACT Communications exercise with 4 other Main Street organizations. This exercise involved the board of directors to assist in the creation of communications fact sheets to help demonstrate the impact of downtown and Main Street to various stakeholders within and outside the community.

Marketing Tools

Downtown Monroe City’s Main Street organization plans an annual fundraiser called the Pig and Swig to promote the agricultural heritage of their community. Ben Muldrow, branding specialist, created a full branding toolkit for the organization and their events.

 

Streetscape Designs

Knob Noster’s downtown district received a streetscape design for State Street from Andy Kalback. Andy provided not only recommendations about the design of the street and sidewalks but also provided placemaking suggestions for parklets and fun, creative crosswalks.

 

Façade Photo Renderings

Randy Wilson, architect and design specialist, provided façade renderings for almost every community that participated in the My Community Matters grant program. Many have been implemented with plans for many others to be implemented soon. Photo renderings provide guidance, inspiration, and details on the potential for a building that is sought out by the owners or city officials. Many times a photo rendering can be accompanied by a façade grant program.

 

While the My Community Matters grant program is coming to an end, the impacts of the program are still being measured. As the projects in these Main Street districts continue to develop and come to fruition, the impact will be measured from dollars invested to businesses opened and jobs created. If your Main Street program or downtown district is interested in receiving services like those outlined above, reach out to Missouri Main Street or check out the Service Directory here. 

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Missouri Main Street Connection recently introduced a new benefit for our network, the Grant Resource Directory. The directory provides subscribers with a summary of the currently available grant opportunities that can be utilized to support downtown revitalization work.


One of the questions we get asked the most is where to find funding for Main Street organizations. Grants are one of the many ways in which an organization can support its work. Unfortunately, the research process is often so time consuming that Main Street organizations are unable to dedicate that time on top of everything else they do for their district. In response to this, we wanted to create a resource for our network that would cut down on the research time by putting the available opportunities in one place. The directory is sent via email twice a month to ensure that we are able to alert subscribers to new grant opportunities as soon as they become available in order to give them enough time to put together an application.




The directory includes a short summary of each opportunity, a link to more information and the deadline. There is also a section of opportunities that are available on an ongoing basis. These opportunities are often overlooked or not prioritized because they do not have a looming deadline. The directory will continually share these opportunities as a reminder of what is always available.

To give other subscribers ideas for grants, the directory will also feature how grants have been successful for other communities. Subscribers can also submit projects they are in need of funding for, for us to keep in mind when we are researching grants for the directory.

The directory is not meant to take the place of an organization’s individual grant research, however, we hope that this makes it easier for our communities to utilize available grant funding for projects that benefit their historic districts and the work of Main Street in their communities.

To subscribe to the Grant Resource Directory, send your request to Katelyn at katelyn@momainstreet.org.


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In August of 2016, Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) was awarded a USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to provide technical assistance to rural communities in Southeast Missouri.  When writing the grant, we looked for an area of Missouri without widespread participation in Main Street by the local communities to focus our efforts. While we have and currently work with communities in the southeast region, our goal was to expand this effort by strengthening relationships with community partners in the Southeast Region.

 

Using the grant we worked with many communities on various issues and projects they were facing in order to help them move forward in their revitalization work. Communities in the southeast region received a variety of services and trainings that were all tailored to the individual community’s need and their experience with implementing the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. These services included town halls to gather public input and support, introduce the Main Street philosophy to the community as well as utilizing the help of consultants to guide the communities in the next steps for their Main Street organizations. Consultants were brought in to provide information and ideas for business recruitment, façade and streetscape design and what steps the Main Street organization must take to implement these plans.

MMSC also organized workshops specifically for communities from the southeast region to learn more about Main Street and how it could help their communities. While some communities in the area have experience with Main Street, we also wanted to reach out to those that want to learn more. In October 2016, we hosted a Main Street 101 workshop that introduced the basics of how Main Street can work for community as well as what MMSC could do to help in the process. Two Affiliate Grant workshops, hosted in the region, explained ways that MMSC could provide dedicated, specialized services and support to the communities in order to get their Main Street organizations started.

 

Early in 2017, MMSC hosted the Main Street Summit for the communities in Southeast Missouri. The Main Street Summit focused on building a partnership between the local government and the local Main Street organization. Two people from each community attended, one with the city and one with the downtown organization, to learn about Main Street. We have found that bringing people together to hear the same information helps them get on the same page about what the next step is for their community, allowing them to work together better.

Finally, twice during the grant period, MMSC has hosted Basic Training on the Four-Point Approach® for people who wanted an in-depth look at how the four points of organization, promotion, design, and economic vitality work together in a Main Street organization. These workshops covered what each point is and what tasks fall under them for the Main Street community.

Through the Rural Business Development Grant, MMSC has made great progress in the education, training and implementation of Main Street in Southeast Missouri. As with all other regions of Missouri, there are communities at different stages of community revitalization. We tried to tailor the services provided in this grant to all levels of revitalization experience in order to assist as many communities as we could. It was very important to teach the basics of Main Street through many of the workshops described above to lay the groundwork and get communities excited about the transformation that could take place in their communities. We then expanded on these principles and addressed specific needs in the communities that had more experience with Main Street. We were able to help overcome preconceived notions that the historic district wasn’t worth investing in. We helped create or reestablish relationships with communities and their local and state officials. Finally, we provided motivation for communities to take the next steps to create a vibrant and sustainable downtown.

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As Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) celebrates a decade of successful nonprofit service in Missouri, we are reflecting on all things to the power of 10.  Here are 10 services provided by Missouri Main Street.

Coordinating Program for Missouri.  The National Main Street contracts with Missouri Main Street to administer the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization in Missouri.  This is very powerful because it allows the communities in Missouri to utilize the Main Street program and all that brings with it:  the network, the brand, the resources and the partnerships.  Not every state has a coordinating program and several have come and gone due to budgeting and personnel.  MMSC is strong because of the relationships with our Main Street organizations, the State of Missouri through the Department of Economic Development and the legislators, the local municipalities and the MMSC board of directors. 

Accreditation.  Through an extensive annual review of the Main Street programs in Missouri, MMSC is able to accredit the best Main Street programs in the state alongside the National Main Street Center.  National accreditation is a big deal.  It is based upon the National Main Street 10-Point Criteria which measures the organization’s capacity, leadership, community involvement and effectiveness.  There are currently only six accredited Main Street programs in Missouri:  Old Town Cape, Inc. (Cape Girardeau), Main Street Chillicothe, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Historic Downtown Liberty, Warrensburg Main Street, and Downtown Washington, Inc. 

Tier System.  When MMSC started in 2006, it had resurrected itself from a state run organization into a non-profit with only 10 communities in the network.  Today MMSC has assisted more than 170 communities across the state.  With a staff of four people, that assistance had to be categorized into tiers.  The more invested a community is in the Main Street program, the more services MMSC could offer.  This four-tier system offers phone consultation, technical and organizational visits along with board planning sessions and access to the resource library for members via the MMSC website.  You can learn more about the services offered through the tier system online.

State Conference.  Every July MMSC offers the only statewide educational and networking event for commercial district revitalization that blends economic development, community revitalization and historic preservation.  It brings together experts in the field of downtown revitalization into three days of educational sessions, in-the-field tours and networking.  The conference also features the Evening of Excellence awards recognizing the best in Missouri Main Street communities.  Visit the conference website for details.  Don’t miss this year’s conference on July 26-28. 

Cultivating Place Training, Kansas City, MO

Quarterly Workshops.  It is written in the Missouri Main Street mission that providing tools and resources to Missouri communities and one of the ways that is achieved is through quarterly workshops held in the spring and fall.  These workshops focus on a specific aspect of the Main Street Four-Point Approach®.  The most recent workshops have been focused on economic vitality through education on real estate investment, attracting and retaining businesses and marketing those spaces in downtowns.  Missouri Main Street members receive a discount on these training opportunities.  Mark your calendar for November 11, 2016, for the next workshop in Chillicothe.

Grant Programs.  Because of the funds Missouri Main Street receives from the State of Missouri, grants, memberships and fundraising, it can offer service grants.  These grants are varied in the services they offer with the Affiliate Grant guiding a community with starting and building a Main Street program.  The People Energizing Places and Strategic Teams Engaging Places grants assist a Main Street community in growing the organization’s capacity and effectiveness.  All of these grants are matching with Missouri Main Street assuming 60-75% of the costs. 

Technical Services.  Maybe you don’t need a grant but a specialized service to grow.  Missouri Main Street offers a full list of services ranging from a couple of hours to a couple of days.  Some of these services include conducting a community visioning session, board strategic planning session, customer service training, technical visit on economic development or a multi-day downtown strategic planning session.  The complete list is available online. 

2016 Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO

Partnerships/Relationships.  Missouri Main Street has relationships with other state-wide organizations that can be utilized by downtown organizations to assist in the revitalization efforts.  The Department of Economic Development, State Historic Preservation Office, Certified Local Government Program, Missouri Preservation, Missouri Arts Council, USDA, AARP and many others have programs and resources for Missouri communities.  Contact us for more information.

Networking.  Everything Missouri Main Street does revolves around the downtown communities being served.  With that in mind, the act of bringing people together to share ideas and learn from one another is vital to everyone’s success.  Missouri Main Street receives feedback every year on the value of conversing with other Main Street professionals and learning from their successes and failures.  Take advantage of this service because in many cases, there is no need to re-invent the wheel.

2016 Main Street Showcase, Jefferson City


Advocacy. 
And last but certainly not least, Missouri Main Street promotes and shouts from the downtown rooftops the importance of downtown revitalization in Missouri communities.  This shouting is to state legislators, local politicians, business owners, property owners, residents, visitors and many others within a community.  This advocacy also belongs to the local effort doing Main Street…believing in the principle of locally controlled decisions based upon the wants and needs of the local community.  Main Street is a volunteer lead, volunteer driven, locally empowered organization doing economic development while preserving a community’s historic assets.  If you believe in this idea, then Main Street is for you!

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The state revitalization conference is well underway and off to a great start. This morning in the opening ceremony our State Director, Gayla Roten, welcomed all of the attendees and announced two new MMSC programs that we are very excited to offer to communities in Missouri!

People Energizing Places

The first program that Gayla announced is People Energizing Places. Starting and sustaining a Main Street organization can be challenging. Missouri Main Street Connection's new People Energizing Places (PEP) Grant can help your Main Street organization gain additional training and expert guidance to become more effective. This new two year program provides individualized training, focused initiatives for sustained revitalization and technical expertise developed to advance the Main Street organization's downtown development.

Strategic Teams Engaging Places Grant

The second program announced is the Strategic Teams Engaging Place Grant. Sustaining a Main Street organization can be challenging. Missouri Main Street Connection's new Strategic Teams Engaging Places (STEP) Grant will catapult your organization to the next level through expert guidance and training to create real change in your revitalization efforts. This new one year program provides customized training from a detailed assessment to strategically advance the Main Street organization's downtown development.


Contact the MMSC office at 417-334-3014 or email Keith Winge at kwinge@momainstreet.org for more information about these programs.

 

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