We love historic downtowns!

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

Public and Private INVESTMENT

$964004032

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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Missouri Main Street Blog Section

Virtual Conference | July 28 - 30, 2021


Missouri's Premier Revitalization Conference will feature three days of virtual activities including 14 breakout sessions and two keynote addresses as well as special lunch and happy hour sessions.

Join us at Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference to Celebrate New Beginnings! During the past year of uncertainty and unrest, more than ever we understand the significance of celebrating the places we love. While we are mindful of the hardships so many have endured, we have learned to adapt and grow through this pandemic.

Join us as we all Celebrate New Beginnings! We more fully understand the necessity of community preservation, while celebrating the very places we live, work, and play, as we unite the people in our communities and districts. 

Register at https://www.getpluggedindowntown.com/ 

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A small group of Missourians of all ages gathered in Columbia on Wednesday May 5th to learn about historic cemeteries and proper cleaning techniques before heading to William Jewell Cemetery where they got hands on experience. This group learned how to accurately survey a cemetery, its plots, markers, and monuments.

Cemetery markers through the years have come in all shapes and sizes as attendees found out in the presentation by SHPO representative Amanda Burke. The size, shape, materials, decorative carvings, and iconography tell about the persons status prior to death. For example, the depiction of a lamb represents that the person was a child.

Markers and monuments have been made from several materials over the years based on availability of materials and region. Stones used include granite, marble, slate and concrete; metal includes bronze, iron, and zinc.

This list of materials made up of stone and metal to the average person sound tough and durable and would not require specialized care and cleaning, yet that is not the case for the markers and monuments found in historic cemeteries as their materials are delicate and need to be cared for gently. 
One of the tips for cleaning was to use brushes that you can use on your palm and not scratch up your skin, meaning no metal or abrasive materials.




Cleaning efforts like the one that attendees preformed at Jewell Cemetery offer a variety of protection from the threats that rise against historic cemeteries including: humans, ecological, and environment. Humans through neglect endanger markers via increased erosion and chipping from metal wire brushes and tough weed wacker line or through purposeful vandalism where monuments are defaced with spray-paint or broken by tipping them over, but a well kept cemetery staves off this harm. Ecological and environmental are just how they sound. Plants like vines, moss, and lichen endanger monuments through soiling and stains, while environmental factors like water erode and crack markers during the freeze cycle, yet proper and regular care keeps the compounding damage at bay and preserves these places.

Survey and recordation efforts are essential to preserving the history of those who have come before us, with the hope that when we are long gone and buried in a small cemetery that our graves will be tended for and we won’t be forgotten.

More information regarding basic monument cleaning and other preservation efforts can be found through National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Association of Gravestone Studies, CHICORA Foundation, and Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office.

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The Community Empowerment Grant program sparked downtown revitalization efforts in Trenton. Through education and support from the program, their community created an exciting vision for the district. Executive Director Megan Taul said, "our organization has grown stronger by applying the Main Street Approach™ through historic preservation efforts, promotional planning, and entrepreneurial encouragement. The value of this approach gave us structure for development and an increase in community involvement, bringing sustainable life and joy to our downtown. We would highly recommend these services to other communities as we have gained so much from this experience through tools, resources, inspiration, and many networking opportunities! We are looking forward to the future of Downtown Trenton and MMSC!"


Board President Jackie Soptic noted, "this program helped organize our Board and provide a necessary structure to achieve success. I would strong recommend this program to any downtown organization whether they are in their infancy or well established."

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Welcome to spring and with it, hopefully spring temperatures! 

The Historic Preservation Committee is excited to bring a lot of resources to our communities, including the one-pager on painting your building and additional one-pager documents in the future. The committee is really dedicated to bringing tangible resources to your community, so be on the lookout in the future for more of these types of resources. Also, the committee has a really exciting announcement at the Missouri Main Street Conference July 28-30, so be on the lookout for that. 

Have you begun preparations for Preservation Month in May? This important time of the year is a big opportunity to celebrate your historic downtown, the unique-to-you part of your community. You can celebrate this in a myriad of ways, ranging from an architectural scavenger hunt to walking tours. As long as you celebrate your community’s history, that’s what’s important! How will you celebrate?

Now is the time to check on those downtown buildings to make sure they withstood the freezing and thawing of the winter. Look for popped our brick, paint that has weathered off and more. In April, we will talk a little more about this, but start walking around your downtown now to make sure the buildings are well-taken care of and don’t need work as we head into warmer weather.

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Main Street America brings to light the impact of COVID-19 through its recent survey with particular interest dedicated to our local main street businesses. They found that despite the troubles over the past year there is much to hope for in the power of people.


Over the past year, whether you’re in a metropolis, rural suburb, or quaint town, COVID-19 has affected everyone including the people we talk with daily—from our cashier during grocery runs to the local store, our barber during our weekly haircuts, and our Saturday shopping sprees at boutiques:
“88% of small business owner respondents were concerned about the risk of permeant closure… 29% reporting they wouldn’t last beyond the next three months… 45% reporting they won’t last beyond the next six months… 51% of businesses had laid off or lost employees…net loss of 2,380 jobs” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).


These places are bearing the burden under imposed regulations and lockdowns that have put barriers and hurdles in the way of providing what their communities need and their livelihood; including our beloved historic mom-and-pop shops or new innovative entrepreneur ventures. This has created further duress as the tools that have equipped many in both urban and rural centers to attain financial freedom, have now been pulled out from under them as a result of the pandemic:
“frustrations with changing regulations on business operations…new expenses to adapt operations…coping with reduced demand…frustration with requiring customers to abide by mask and social distancing regulations…additional credit card debt [and more financial strains] … leaning on savings [and other assets] to keep their business afloat” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).


Then what has kept communities across Missouri afloat throughout the ongoing pandemic? Is it the hope of a promised stimulus check, I doubt it? It is the measures that small businesses and local organizations have taken to not only support their communities but to support themselves, which have been far beyond what many could imagine and have carried us this far. This exceptional strength, dedication, and collective power grows out of the resilience of people in their communities that won’t give up no matter what odds are stacked against them. They adapt to what life throws at them because their livelihood depends on it and that is the life they are used to as members and owners of working-class America. Main street programs are continually supporting their communities in lieu of government aid and help allocate the aid that is available to those who need it most:
“feeling the crisis in their own work… 63% of programs expect to have reduced budgets” “but 58% of programs expect they will try to do more with less” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).


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Missouri Main Street Connection has developed an online training series providing in-depth details on the National Main Street Four-Point Approach. Main Street 101 will benefit board members, volunteers, and city officials on the principles of Main Street and the best practices related to a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.  The Main Street approach and structure have been used in over 2,000 communities across the country since the 1980s.

The Main Street 101 online training is available free of charge to all communities in Missouri and was developed by the Missouri Main Street Connection staff with the help of specialists and partners.

What's included in Main Street 101?

  • The Main Street 4-Point Approach
  • National Main Street Background
  • Main Street Principles
  • History of Missouri Main Street Connection
  • Missouri Main Street Connection Available Resources

 Resources Available:

  • Handbook for all 4-Points
  • Executive Director Handbook
  • Main Street Approach Guide
  • Community Engagement Guide

 

Certification

All Missouri Main Street programs with an agreement will be required to have all new Board Members and Executive Directors/Managers complete the online training series and pass a multiple-choice test to gain their certificate of completion.  Each new individual will have six months from joining the organization to complete the online training series and gain their certification to meet the terms of their annual agreement with Missouri Main Street Connection.  The current fee to access the test for certification is $50 per person.

Once the exam has been completed and a passing score has been received, the certificate of completion can be downloaded or printed.  Please provide a copy of this document to the local Main Street Executive Director or Board President and it will be required as a part of the annual program review process. 

Certification details:

  • 50 question online exam
  • Questions based upon the 4-Points and Main Street Principles
  • Questions are either multiple choice or true/false 
  • One hour to complete the exam
  • Must pass with a score of 80% or higher

 

Take the Main Street 101 free training here


This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Kemper Fund for Kansas and Missouri of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, USDA Rural Development (an equal opportunity organization), and Karen Bode Baxter. 



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Why your community should send people to MMSC Quarterly Trainings:

  1. Making sure that a variety of people from your community attend quarterly training will help develop leadership in your program at home. The more people that understand Main Street and contribute ideas for your program, the more that will be shaped as leaders for the future of your community. 

  2. It’s good to network, connect, and learn from other communities around the state and country. 

  3. MMSC works very hard to have good speakers that are informed about the subject matter, interesting to listen to, and up-to-date about Main Street methodology. Education is important when dealing with community development.

  4. You will make new friends! It is almost guaranteed that you will meet someone from another community that is dealing with the same problems you are, or have already been through the same situation and has some good advice for you.

  5. And the number one reason you should attend MMSC Quarterly Trainings is: You will always learn something! Even if it is a topic that you think you are not very interested in, you will find something to take home to try. 

 

Register for the March 12th Quarterly Workshop here.

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March 12, 2021 |  9:00AM - 4:00PM CST

We are excited to be partnering with Georgia Main Street on this workshop! In this workshop, five audiences will be identified as those to which you need to be able to communicate your brand. We will discuss creative ways to expand your brand and to communicate the value and importance of what your organization does for the community. 

This workshop offers a good opportunity to learn how to highlight the impact and value of your Main Street program. This training will teach you the tools to build the case for continued support and sustaining your organization in the future.

All attendees will learn from examples that will be shared from around the country.


About The Presenter:
BEN MULDROW 
is a place branding and economic development expert who has spent the last 18 years assisting communities to develop identities that attract investors and encourage private and public organizations to commit to community development projects that lead to economic vitality, environmental stewardship, and social advancement.

As a partner at Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Ben has designed creative branding and marketing systems in over 600 communities across 40 states and 5 countries, making him a true leader in place branding and cementing his ability to combine strategic planning, brand development, interactive marketing, public relations, and social media capabilities to preserve and promote the power of place. 

In the Main Street world, Ben is known as a true innovator. Not only has he introduced the Main Street world to branding, he has introduced the ideas of micro-retail incubation, retail master plans, the five audiences of Main Street, and most recently he has created a template adopted across the country to communicate the effectiveness of our local programs. Ben has spoken at 14 National Main Street Conferences, keynoted numerous state and regional Main Street conferences, and has spoken to over 250,000 people about the importance of America’s downtowns. A founding contributor of Proud Places, and collaborator with Reopen Main Street, Ben is passionate about the relationships between people and place.

 

More details and registration available here:  
https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=86

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Painting can be one of the most dramatic improvements you make to your building. However, only paint a building that has been previously painted to maintain the historic look of the building. Measures should be taken to remove old paint from brick to restore the original brick, if applicable. In addition, if repointing must be done to prep the façade, before painting, consult with a mason experienced with using the type of mortar for the age of your building. If the building is metal or has metal components, we recommend consulting with a professional company for cleaning and preparatory work. The following steps will help smooth the way for a successful paint job on your historic building.
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Wednesday, January 6th at 8:30AM


MMSC will host Mornings on Main on Wednesday, January 6th at 8:30 AM. The nation’s economy continues to recover from the COVID shock that triggered the deepest recession since World War II. How will Main Street businesses and households fare in 2021?

There are limits to what government policies can do, so the answer depends to a great extent on how quickly business people and consumers are able to return to something like the pre-pandemic normal.



William R. Emmons is an assistant vice president and economist in the Supervision Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He co-founded and served as the lead economist in the Center for Household Financial Stability from 2013 to 2020.


Register here!

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