We love historic downtowns!

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.

 

Blog

Missouri Main Street Blog Section

Milestones, collaboration, and activation have been the themes of the most recent progress from the three-pilot urban Main Street programs in St. Louis. – Dutchtown Main Streets, Laclede’s Landing Main Street, and Delmar Main Street. Missouri Main Street Connection began the St. Louis Main Streets pilot program in late 2019 as a partnership with the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC). 


Dutchtown Main Streets, a district south of the city center, began transitioning a business owners’ group into a Main Street program in late 2019 by educating the board of directors on Main Street principles, creating implementation-oriented committees, and learning how to measure the impact of projects and new businesses in the district.  Over the past three-to-six months the Main Street program has been focused on understanding and interpreting demographic and market information while identifying vacant properties in the district that are ready for development or need to be rehabilitated before development can take place.  The district is working with the Coro Fellowship Program to help establish tools for collecting economic data, reporting that data, and inventorying vacant properties.  The Coro Fellowship Program develops emerging leaders to work and lead across different sectors by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and networks to accelerate positive change. 

 

 

 

Laclede’s Landing Main Street began their Main Street program in 2021 with the goal of transitioning from what was once a night club focused district into a neighborhood district. They are utilizing their newly established transformation strategies of activating the riverfront and developing neighborhood goods and services to capitalize and continue on the work and planning that has already been completed by stakeholders, the city, and other entities. The development of more vacant upper story housing is one way they are planning to achieve their transformation strategies while building upon work that had already been taking place. There are developers already working with Laclede’s Landing Main Street on housing projects within the district which will bring more residents to what they call the “oasis of the city” tucked between the Martin Luther King and the Eads Bridges.  Related to the riverfront activation, district stakeholders and the city have prioritized the riverfront as seen in previous plans that have been developed by the city and conversations with MMSC and other organizations in the past. It is an asset that has not been capitalized on which provides opportunities for activation and additional retail while also serving as the living room for the neighborhood and visitors.  Working with the district Main Street program, conceptual documents are being developed for the riverfront including space for activation and retail as well as additional housing development.  The plans are still in the works but will follow the ideas of previous plans with the idea of phased implementation to bring them to fruition.  Stay tuned for more details in the months to come.  (The photo below is from a previous conceptual plan developed to activate the riverfront.)

 

 


November marks the one-year anniversary of Delmar Main Street’s program. November of 2021 was the kick-off stakeholder input meetings at St. Louis ArtWorks. Delmar Main Street did a repeat of that event for their anniversary giving an update on the past year to include the organizational accomplishments of forming a board of directors and Main Street committees. They also shared the committee work thus far, the impact of events they hosted, and the grants they have received for various projects—including the Creative Space Activation Grant, provided by MMSC, which will be used for the Delmar Main Street’s Transit Wall Transformation Project. The group also gave time for stakeholders to provide feedback on certain proposed projects and events for the next year. Delmar’s transformation strategies were developed with the valuable input from that first stakeholder input session in 2021 – creating people-centered places and promoting entrepreneurship and equitable development. Demographic and market information supports these strategies which focus on activating the boulevard with small businesses run by small business owners from the neighborhood while promoting ownership and equity development for those entrepreneurs. 

 

 


2023 will bring further development and services including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a partner with Missouri Main Street Connection to bring entrepreneurial services and training to the St. Louis Main Streets program.  With economic development at the core of Main Street, this work will help build and develop small business owners, and provide access to capital and wealth-building tools to assist them in their entrepreneurial journey.  Stay tuned.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

Missouri Main Street Connection’s Community Empowerment Grant (CEG) program continues to guide Main Street revitalization through its tailored programing. Currently, there are 16 community organizations receiving technical assistance through this program. The CEG program guides the development of a strong Main Street Board of Directors and programs while establishing strategies and implementation measures based on community feedback.

 

Brookfield is a community of just over 4,000 people in Linn County. Main Street Brookfield chose to make the most of their final specialized service by pairing the CEG specialized service with assistance from another grant, the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant program. In addition, the community agreed to provide matching funds to bring branding and design services to Brookfield. This process, brought by the specialized service, allowed the community to come together through input sessions on what is important to the future of downtown and their community.

 

 


To facilitate the branding portion of the specialized service, Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow and Associates, was brought in with his expertise and recommended a new brand scheme for Main Street Brookfield, the City of Brookfield, and other local organizations. Ben Muldrow’s process solicited the needs and wants of the community to provide a comprehensive and cohesive branding service that brought an identity to the community. Previous efforts were disjointed as logos and branding were completed at different times. This effort presents a united effort by local organizations towards the betterment of Brookfield.

 

 


Randy Wilson, Community Design Solutions, provided the design portion of the specialized service to Main Street Brookfield. Randy worked with two building owners on façade renderings to showcase the untapped potential of their properties. This helped visualize the potential for two key buildings downtown. The two building owners are eager to make improvements to their buildings. One of the building owners is in the early stages of implementing Randy’s recommendations. Another component of Randy’s deliverables provided during this specialized service was design-related recommendations including ordinance review, beautification, vibrancy amenities, façade improvements, and how to handle dilapidated buildings. As part of these recommendations, Randy provided a streetscape rendering.

 

 


Using this service, Main Street Brookfield was able to leverage Randy’s recommendations to establish a formal contract for services with the City of Brookfield that will be used to provide beautification upgrades. This service provided a road map for the City of Brookfield to provide funding for tangible efforts.

 

 


This service helped to bring unity and targeted short-term and long-term recommendations for downtown and the community. Through this service, this passionate community received direction from experts that provided implementation steps now and into the future.


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

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 selected communities through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant was awarded to recipients in March of 2022. Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc., (HLDI) which is an accredited Main Street program, was awarded one of the grants. This grant allowed them to focus on their historic assets and market themselves to prospective visitors to increase heritage tourism in their economy.


Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. is located in Liberty, Missouri which is a community that could be accurately described as having a strong sense of history. Liberty was incorporated in 1829, making it the second oldest incorporated town west of the Mississippi River. It has seen several notable historic events such as the first daylight, peacetime bank robbery and is home to five local historic districts as well as seven districts and seven individual properties on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Liberty boasts a downtown historic Square and many notable historic sites of interest in the surrounding area. Additionally, it was designated by the White House as a Preserving America community in 2007, as a way to encourage and support the preservation and promotion of America’s cultural and natural heritage.


The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant provided the funds for Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. to focus on promoting two of their many historic assets which experienced decline in visitors due to the pandemic. The first is the Clay County Museum that hosts rotating galleries of various historical artifacts relating to Clay County, Missouri as a way to invite people to honor the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. Additionally, the Jessie James Bank Museum showcases the bank where the first daylight, peacetime bank robbery took place in 1866. The museum immerses guest in the story of the robbery with the help of period furnishings throughout.


Each museum had promotional marketing campaigns launched over the summer of 2022 by Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. and its project partners to bring awareness and increase foot traffic to them and the district, primarily featuring photographs of the museums, points of interest, and information about each museum. Traditional and modern promotion channels distributed information to draw people to these sites and inviting them to stay and linger.

 

  


Brochures were stocked at each museum including HDLI brochures featuring a map of sites to visit, shops, and restaurants. Additional educational brochures were also included for other local attractions like the African American Legacy, Sculpture Walking Tour, and Historical Walking Tour. On social media, content focused on promoting local day-trippers and overnight stays.

 

 

 

Both museums reported an increase in visitors and local businesses. Restaurants and different specialty shops also indicated that the traffic generated from the promotion of the museums increased people who came into their stores.  You would be surprised that heritage tourism is not just for in-state adult visitors, but it also interests kids and out-of-state visitors who came by the museums to learn about the interesting tales and events that happened in Missouri’s past.

 

  

 

Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

May is Preservation Month, which is a time to celebrate a community’s unique cultural and historic assets. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation ”Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. [Then] in 2005, [they] extended the celebration to the entire month of May and declared it Preservation Month to provide an even greater opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and states.” Preservation Month celebrations present both an opportunity to create events that tell the history and heritage in the historic district as well as advocate for preservation efforts. If Main Street doesn’t advocate for itself and its historic district, it will end up just like so many of the forgotten historic buildings that were demolished by neglect.


Main Street organizations can start planning early on how to implement historic educational programming and preservation advocacy efforts. These efforts should have the goal to bring awareness to the historic assets in their district and provide information on how vital preservation-based economic development is to their local economy.

 

 


Historic Educational Programming


There are so many ways that Missouri Main Streets have utilized historic educational programming to celebrate Preservation Month. Local Main Street organizations should first look at their own history and district to see what opportunities they can promote and then look other communities for examples. One effective event that many communities plan for is a walking tour of the historic assets in a downtown and community.


  • In Marceline, the Downtown Marceline Foundation held a self-guided walking tour with guides in historic buildings. These guides were able to tell the story of each of their district’s important downtown buildings, citing the history of the buildings, and the businesses that have called it home over the years.

 

  • In Chillicothe, Main Street Chillicothe held a walking tour with 4th graders. This event provided an opportunity to educate the youth on the history and importance of downtown. In addition, the organization gave the school kids an architectural scavenger hunt to help emphasize important architectural features. This activity kept the children engaged and excited about history.


  • In Washington, Downtown Washington, Inc. put a unique twist on the historic tour model through a Haunted History Ride. This horse-drawn wagon tour of downtown Washington featured some of its most well-known historic sites and the hauntings surrounding them.  The guide told of the bizarre accidents and strange murders of the past, as well as more recent paranormal activity. This tour also included Washington's everyday history and how downtown has changed over the years.

 

 


Preservation Advocacy Efforts


Each example of the historic educational programming above presents an opportunity to also advocate for preservation. During each educational program there is an opportunity to share with a captivated audience at the fun event as to how they can join in advocating the preservation of the history. These two are interconnected while also standing alone as Main Street organizations can put together advocacy campaigns to demonstrate the importance of their preservation-based economic development efforts in their local economy.

 

  • The Main Street Chillicothe Walking Tour, mentioned above, provided an opportunity for a tour guide to advocate for the historic resources in the downtown district. While telling the history of downtown Chillicothe, the tour guide tried to instill a sense of pride and ownership in downtown Chillicothe throughout the tour.


  • In 2018, Old Town Cape, Inc. in Cape Girardeau used Preservation Month as an opportunity to expose the community to one of their prominent buildings in downtown, the H&H Building. This presentation advocated for saving and adaptively reusing the building to become an asset again.


There are many ways to celebrate Preservation Month in your community. Education and advocacy efforts can come in different forms, but it’s vitally important to tell the history and significance of downtown so that the community and heritage travelers gain a better understanding and appreciation for what is unique to your community.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

The Downtown Strong: Building Resilient Economies Grant is a grant provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) through Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) that continues to impact Missouri communities.

Communities across Missouri run successful farmers’ markets that grow their local economy through entrepreneurial and micro business development as well as business growth resulting in establishing brick-and-mortar locations in downtown storefronts. These farmers’ markets have been growing in popularity over the years and the COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for their growth as people searched for safe environments and ways to support local economies. Downtown farmers’ markets are a source of downtown activity that bring people downtown and provide safe environments for people to shop local while keeping their money in the local economy and supporting local businesses as the downtown businesses reopened. In Missouri Main Street’s network Old Town Cape, Main Street Warrensburg, Downtown Joplin Alliance, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, and Historic Downtown Liberty are farmers’ markets run by Accredited Main Street programs.   

 

 


Toward the end of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in Missouri, Main Street Warrensburg saw a significant increase in the number of vendors and shoppers at their market. This increased interest in the downtown farmers’ market indicated to them that they had an opportunity to recruit and transition some of the vendors into brick-and-mortar businesses as well as solidify shoppers’ support of downtown. In addition, with all the buzz around the farmers’ market they could now revisit their dream of having a permanent location for their farmers’ market. 


The Warrensburg Farmers’ Market has been located in various downtown locations since its inception in 1996. As the market grew, the need for a permanent dedicated space became clear. Warrensburg Main Street, wanting to ensure the market stayed downtown, saw the opportunity to develop a plan through the Downtown Strong Grant. They applied for and received services from the Downtown Strong Grant to develop a master plan that would provide the tools needed to move their vision forward.

 



Initially, Warrensburg Main Street was considering a partnership with a downtown church and began discussions regarding a long-term lease of property that could serve as a more permanent location for the market. As discussions progressed, it became clear that a partnership with the city was a more sustainable and appropriate solution. A site was located on the west edge of downtown that encompassed existing parking lots and an obscure open space. Their grant consultant, Russ Volmert with FORA Planning, noted that these spaces could be converted into a dynamic, beautiful new public space. He envisioned the space becoming a ‘town commons,’ “a place where the community can thrive in the downtown and a place for the greater Warrensburg community.”

 



Through discussions with key stakeholders from Warrensburg Main Street and the City, Russ developed project goals and a scope of work. He would provide a site inventory/analysis, a schematic master plan, and preliminary cost estimates. Together, these could be used to generate support and help with future fundraising as well as in grant applications. The plan would create a multi-use space that could provide parking, recreation, event space, and a permanent home for the Downtown Warrensburg Farmers’ Market. More than a mere narrative it would be artistic and beautiful, adding to the aesthetic of Downtown Warrensburg and would attract people even when there is no programmed event scheduled.


Working with FORA Planning meant that both the organization’s eight-year discussion of a downtown public space and a permanent downtown location for their farmers’ market were finally within their grasp.

 

The services included in this article 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.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

Progress is a big deal in Main Street from the first façade renovation and new businesses opening downtown to being recognized for your local Main Street organization’s preservation-based economic development efforts. This year, two local Main Street organizations have been recognized for their accomplishments in implementing the Main Street Approach™ through progressing to the next tier in the Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) tier system. MMSC is proud to recognize Downtown Joplin Alliance and Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization for their achievement of Accredited and Associate tier placement respectively.

 

The Downtown Joplin Alliance achieved national and state accreditation from both Main Street America (MSA) and MMSC. Accreditation is the highest level a Main Street program can achieve and indicates that Downtown Joplin Alliance is exceeding in implementing the Main Street criteria impacting their local district in big ways. The National and State designation of accreditation came after Norma Ramirez de Miess, MSA, and Keith Winge, MMSC, completed an on-site review of the organization’s implementation of the Main Street criteria. Reaching this benchmark does not mean revitalization ends as it is equally important to maintain the accreditation status once earned.

 

In 2021, Downtown Joplin Alliance, through their program’s strong historic preservation ethic, active Board of Directors and committees, as well as other technical aspects that help the program function at a high-level, saw public and private investment of over $45 million in the historic district from 36 projects. The district saw a net gain of 19 new business and 54 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Downtown Joplin Alliance donated 1,425 hours of their time. Downtown Joplin Alliance celebrated this accomplishment with a cake from the City of Joplin and said,


“This would not have been reached without our staff, our board, our committee members, our other fabulous volunteers, and all of our fantastic partners, such as Joplin City Government, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Connect2Culture amongst many others.”

 

   


The Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization was selected as a new Associate tiered Main Street program with Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) following a program review by MMSC.  Associate designation is recognized by MMSC as a way to distinguish communities that are working toward being recognized as a national and state Accredited Main Street program.  As a stepping stone on the path to full accreditation, this benchmark highlights communities that are seeing an increase in the economic value of the downtown and is making progress to achieve an active and vibrant downtown revitalization organization.

  

During 2021, Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization continued to implement historic preservation-based economic development in uptown Jackson that cultivated $461,382 total investment in downtown, 22 net new jobs, and 2,272 volunteer hours. Their impact has created a place for people to gather, live, and work in uptown Jackson

 

You can read the press releases written by MMSC staff through the link below:

www.momainstreet.org/press-releases/

 

The Main Street Approach™ is a time-tested economic development and historic preservation-based approach utilized successfully over the past 40+ years by over 40 coordinating programs and 1,200 neighborhoods and communities nationally. Missouri Main Street Connection’s program’s purpose is to implement this approach in creating vibrant communities across the state. The current Main Street criteria that is used to gauge the effectiveness of how a Main Street Program in implementing the Main Street Approach™ is based on over 40 years of successful downtown revitalization and demonstrates that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement, creates a place people will want to live, work and invest, and makes our state economically stronger. The goal of the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Main Street Approach™.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 selected communities through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The grant helped each community implement a project and market itself to prospective visitors. These projects added heritage tourism to the economies in each community through a range of projects from murals to walking tours to new monuments and building plaques that all highlight each respective community’s history for residents and visitors. One of the Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant was awarded to Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) in March of 2022 with the project completed in September of 2022.


Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) is a newer Main Street community in the Community Empowerment Grant program but their history and local significance runs deep. From being the lifelong residence of the 46th Governor of Missouri, Warren E. Hearnes, who was the first person in Missouri history to serve in all three branches of the state government to their high school basketball team’s, the Bluejay, twelve state championship titles, the community has a variety of heritage and history to celebrate. It is this deep, rich history that would be on display with a 24’ mural in a welcoming pocket park following the transformation of an overgrown vacant lot left after a building was removed.  

 

Charleston Revitalization Movement’s (CHARM) overall project is broken up into two phases with phase one being the mural and intial development of the pocket park. During phase one, the first step was to address the condition of the space for the pocket park by removing a tree and overgrown brush and poison ivy.

  

      


After clearing the lot, the concrete pad of the old building was exposed allowing for CHARM to preserve it with safety modifications for its new use. As the work was being done on this project CHARM said,


“On more than one occasion, visitors to the area stopped by to see what was taking place as well as offer encouraging words of how much they enjoy visiting our town and how beautiful the architecture and the atmosphere is.”


Next, a 10’ concrete ramp was installed for ADA accessibility and benches placed for locals and visitors to enjoy. The mural was then installed in the park. It is a digitized collage of artwork from three local artist that is printed on weatherproof materials depicting the Mississippi County Courthouse surrounded by beautiful dogwoods and azaleas, the Old Train Depot, a farming scene, a tribute to Charleston High School’s Bluejay Basketball team, and a portrait of Governor Warren E. Hearnes. Lastly, CHARM brought in planters and botanicals to spruce up and soften the space with nature and greenery.

  


 

The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant has mobilized Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) into action to address a void in their community and by doing so created the perfect environment for people to come together as CHARM wrote in their final report,


“This project has allowed local organizations and city leaders to join forces for the common good of the community. Local business owners have pitched in and contributed in-kind donations of their employee’s labor to help get the larger tasks completed. The community is pulling together and healing from the impact of the past few years.”


With the collaboration between CHARM board members and volunteers as well as Charleston community members in transforming the overgrown property, this space will be able to be used by the community for years to come. The excitement from the development of this space in Charleston has created a buzz for the locals and has sparked excitement in the community resulting in “people signing up to get involved in not only this project but future projects as well.”

  

 


Now that phase one has been completed, Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) is waiting for the winter season to pass before moving forward with phase two which will include an elaborate selection of botanicals planted for year-round enjoyment. They also planned to bring additional enhancements to the pocket park in the spring of 2023 for the annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival in April. CHARM had heard many visitors express that they plan to return to see the finished project. Now that the pocket park and mural are ready to greet visitors, CHARM will share their story online to bring back visitors who saw this project in the works as well as new visitors to see what is unique and special about this town and its Main Street.


Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

The Downtown Strong: Building Resilient Economies grant is a grant provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration through Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) that continues to impact Missouri communities.


Main Street Kirksville is home to the Moonshine and Lace Boutique owned by sisters Laura Harvey and Michele Thurlo. These sisters took a risk in becoming entrepreneurs in 2017 by starting the Moonshine and Lace Boutique as a mobile boutique traveling to fairs, festivals, and events. They primarily utilized Facebook for their advertising and developed a good following. At the urging of their customers, they opened a storefront in downtown Kirksville in October 2019. Following the opening of their brick and mortar location, they were excited about the traffic and sales they were generating. Laura and Michele were looking forward to the 2020 spring and summer season on the downtown square with the desire to participate in the many neighborhood events, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.

 

 


As a result of the pandemic, they had to temporarily close their newly-opened storefront in March of 2020 even after using safe precautions and implementing regulations. With their storefront closed, they relied on their website and Facebook page for continued sales. Customers that made purchase online and on Facebook were offered porch pickup. However, their sales were low as they felt the impact of the difficulty of receiving inventory, supply chain issues, and inability to work directly with models and customers.

 

Months after closing in June of 2020, Moonshine and Lace Boutique was able to reopen, but the entire Kirksville downtown area struggled with low traffic. Laura and Michele worked with other downtown businesses to create some small events to help increase traffic, but they knew they needed more. They applied for the Downtown Strong Grant to help them increase their online sales and expand their business promotions.


Moonshine and Lace Boutique was awarded the Downtown Strong Grant and worked with Dana Thomas from BOLD Marketing, who reviewed their existing ecommerce website platform. As a result, BOLD did extensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work and training. BOLD updated and provided support for the boutique’s Google My Business profile, connected accounts to Google Shop and Facebook, and developed and launched a 2-month Google search ad campaign that helped identify best practices for their audience’s shopping habits.


To enhance their business promotion, BOLD provided Facebook support and ad designs, reviewed Moonshine and Lace’s email platform, and designed email assets to use for customer engagement. They reviewed their existing referral program and made recommendations for an improved platform. In addition, Dana helped them develop ways for getting their message out on a local level and ideas for downtown events where they could partner with other businesses on the downtown square.

 

 


Laura and Michele are grateful for the Downtown Strong Grant opportunity and commented  that they felt that learning about SEO has been huge for them. They said, “They started with no knowledge of it at all and now have direction.” The energetic and willing-to-implement attitude of the owners combined with BOLD Marketing’s expertise and support has given Moonshine and Lace Boutique the tools they needed to help navigate the challenges of opening a storefront just prior to the pandemic.


The services included in this article 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.

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

There are countless decisions that Main Streets have to make throughout the year such as should we continue doing an event or how do we communicate the impact that this event has on the community and its businesses. Analyzing the effectiveness and impact of an event can be tricky because it requires the right data for Main Street’s board and staff to make informed decisions. Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street utilized geofencing to garner valuable data on the attendees of their largest event as their free technical service through Missouri Main Street Connection available to Accredited Main Street programs in Missouri.

 

 


Geofencing uses GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary enabling software to collect data when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.  Since geofencing is coming from cellphone data, it does not register anyone that is not carrying a cellphone or has GPS location services off.  In Main Street applications, geofencing is used to create a boundary around the Main Street district or specific area of downtown to gather information about those visiting the district. This is a technological upgrade from zip code surveys where Main Street businesses and Main Street event volunteers ask visitors for their zip codes in order to track where visitors are from. Geofencing now allows this to be done in the background.  While geofencing registers mobile devices that enter or leave the selected area, it only denotes general information from the mobile device, but not any identifying data. Instead demographic information is viewed from primary trade areas that represent areas where a significant number of attendees visited from. 

 

 


Missouri Main Street Connection worked with Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street to gather demographic information with a third-party company on those that attended one of their largest events, Downtown Days.  This is a three-day event that the Main Street leadership believed attracted thousands of attendees, however they never had a good way to measure if it was true.  They also thought they knew what cities many of the attendees were from, but it was only a guess. Through the use of geofencing they would have solid data to turn there guesses into an understanding of the demographic profile of those in attendance and to measure the number of attendees to better measure the impact of this event.

  

 


The third-party company collected the information from a map and boundary of the festival grounds that they determined with Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.  The company also collected data from the weekend following the festival from the determined boundary to include in the data set to compare to a standard three-day period for reference. 


From the data collected during Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street’s Downtown Days, almost 65,000 people attended the festival. The geofencing company used the criterion “register devices that have remained in the geofenced area for seven or more minutes” to ensure that the data collected was an accurate reflection of event attendance and not simply people driving through the map. Below is a heat map showing where people gathered within the festival grounds once they entered the festival. 

 

 


The map below is a visual reorientation of the data collected based on attendee’s location of origin that shows the Downtown Days event draws people from as far away as Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, and Nebraska. St. Louis, Des Moines, and Springfield were three metro areas that also showed a high volume of attendees that originated from there.   Of course, most of the attendees were from the Kansas City metro area. This information will help determine marketing and advertising for the event in future years. 

 

 


The two charts below showed what times garnered the most traffic and how long people stayed within the festival grounds, which was on average 116 minutes.  

 


The data goes on to share demographic and market information for the typical attendee based upon where they are from.  This information provides an insight into the spending habits and purchasing power of this group.  The data dives into median household size, household income, age, gender, and race/ethnicity.  All the information that was provided through this geofencing technical service will provide a guide for Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street to better understand the attendees for their event, help determine future programming and advertising for the event, inform vendors about traffic counts that allow them to stock enough product, and to manage public safety procedures for the crowd size. 


If you are interested in geofencing your Main Street district or festival grounds, please reach out to Keith Winge, Missouri Main Street Connection’s State Community Development Director for more information.  

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
AUTHOR
Ben White »

Winter can be one of the hardest seasons on an historic building, especially in Missouri. The constant freezing and thawing can warp building materials and cause damage if not properly prepared for or dealt with quickly. Building owners need to be diligent in protecting historic buildings during the harsh winter months. Here are some helpful suggestions to alleviate problems before they occur:

 


-Check weather stripping around windows and doors. Install to prevent air filtration (1 hour, depending on type)


-If applicable, install interior storm windows for winter (2 hours)


-Caulk any gaps in wood for a temporary water tight seal (30 min)


-Inspect basement or crawl space for excessive water during wet weather (30 min)


-Sweep debris from flat or low sloping roofs (30 min)



Comments 0 Rating: Rated 4 star by 1 people.
Page 1 of 16
First Previous
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Next Last
Pages :