We love historic downtowns!

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


Missouri Main Street Blog Section

The Evening of Excellence will be the finale of “Get Plugged In…Downtown” Conference on July 30, 2020. The awards ceremony and dinner will send everyone home from this premier Main Street conference with new inspiration. Some will even carry an Excellence of Achievement award home. This might be your community. The award nominations are an opportunity for YOU to honor the people, projects, and activities that are outstanding achievements in your community.

Nominations will be accepted through May 1, 2020. 


Download The Nomination From

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

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc, (MMSC) hosted Main Street Capitol Day in Jefferson City, MO on January 27, 2020. The annual event gathered communities across the state to visit with legislators to celebrate the achievements by communities participating in the Missouri Main Street state-wide revitalization program. Members of Main Street organizations throughout the state attended to share information and insight with the legislators about the impact Main Street has had on their communities. MMSC has advanced economic and workforce development in both Main Street communities and the entire state of Missouri.

Missouri Main Street Connection is a non-profit designed to help communities preserve their historic commercial districts through economic revitalization. MMSC has empowered downtown revitalization in Missouri communities since 2006, resulting in $964 million of private and public investments, the creation of 829 net new businesses, and the development of 4,097 net new jobs in Main Street communities.

State Director, Gayla Roten noted, “Missouri Main Street communities have a lot to be proud of as they work to revitalize their downtowns. Main Street Capitol Day is our opportunity to showcase our impact to the legislators, especially those whose districts are represented by our Main Street communities.”

Missouri Main Street Connection is a statewide program currently providing services and training to over 140 communities across the state. MMSC offers education and mentoring in downtown revitalization strategies using the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to revitalization as developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The approach is a comprehensive methodology addressing all components of revitalization including organization, design, economic vitality and promotions, all within the context of historic preservation.


MMSC Board Vice President Bob Lewis, Board President Dr. Steven Hoffman, State Director Gayla Roten, Senator Mike Cierpiot, Pam Buck - Downtown Blue Springs, and Donnie Rodgers - Downtown Lee's Summit


Jill Purvis - Warrensburg Main Street, Senator Denny Hoskins, Pam Jarding - Main Street Chillicothe and Katelyn Brotherton - MMSC


Liz Haynes - Old Town Cape Girardeau, Senator Wayne Wallingford, Katelyn Brotherton - MMSC


Senator Jamilah Nasheed with David Ottinger - Bevo, John Chen - Downtown Dutchtown, and Keith Winge - MMSC


Dr. Steven Hoffman - MMSC Board President, Gayla Roten - State Director, Bob Lewis - MMSC Vice President, and Representative Hannah Kelly


Ben White - MMSC, Cassidy Lowery - Downtown Washington, Representative Aaron Griesheimer, and Tyler King - Downtown Washington

Dr. Steven Hoffman - MMSC Board President, Representative Scott Cupps, Gayla Roten - State Director, Bob Lewis - MMSC Vist President


Keith Winge - MMSC, Representative Jeff Coleman, and Pam Buck - Downtown Blue Springs


Representative Donna Baringer with John Chen - Downtown Dutchtown, David Ottinger - Bevo, and Keith Winge - MMSC


Tom Elliott - Historic Tanglefoot Association with Representative Becky Ruth


Jill Purvis - Warrensburg Main Street with Representative Dan Houx


Keith Winge - MMSC, Lori Haun - Downtown Joplin Alliance, and Representative Lane Roberts

To view all the photos check them out on our facebook here.
Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.


The first year of the My Community Matters grant work provided by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) has been productive for the targeted communities of the program.  The ten communities receiving services through the My Community Matters initiative are Brunswick, Butler, Concordia, Kirksville, Knob Noster, Odessa, Monroe City, Rockaway Beach, Sikeston, and Willow Springs. All ten communities have been visited at least once by MMSC staff and consultants with services tailored to their community and revitalization work.

The My Community Matters Initiative is provided by MMSC in partnership with USDA through their Rural Community Development Initiative grant. The initiative provides services, over two years, centered around the four points of the Main Street Approach and how it can further impact these communities that are relatively new to the Main Street methodology.

Mindy Hays with Downtown Monroe City (DTMC) said, “The level of support and expertise DTMC has received through the My Community Matters Grant and our partnership with Missouri Main Street has been instrumental in our success! The framework and guidance they provide is what will help us be successful not only now, but long term."

In 2019, evaluation and educational work was performed in the community and examined the economic activity of each using demographic and assessment data to help them better understand their dynamics from an economic perspective.  This type of assessment is beneficial to the decision-making process needed for downtown revitalization. It helps the community understand the business needs their citizens leave the community for and gives them guidance for what types of businesses that could be successful in their downtown.


(Jim Thompson presenting in Butler, MO.)

This year services focused on the design and promotion points of the Main Street Four-Point Approach.  Randy Wilson, architect for South Carolina Main Street and Community Design Solutions, along with Ben Muldrow, Partner at Arnett Muldrow, brought their expertise to Missouri.  MMSC provided not only design services to the communities, but the service also included streetscape renderings in each community. These visuals were great in getting the Main Street organization excited to begin work on rehabilitating their historic buildings and downtown. Additionally, these images are a helpful tool to get more community members involved in the Main Street organization when they can easily see the impact the organization can make downtown.


(Streetscape rendering of downtown Monroe City, MO.)

(Façade rendering for Monroe City, MO.)

You can read the complete Design Report which includes other renderings of downtown Monroe City and suggestions for downtown revitalization through this link:


MMSC provided promotion training and a branding system for the downtown and community to utilize in telling their unique story. The branding helps tell a cohesive story of Rockaway Beach to both citizens and visitors showcasing the many assets that can be found there and presenting the community as a destination. Here are some examples from Rockaway Beach: 




The communities that participated felt that the tools provided would help them motivate and inspire the whole community in the downtown revitalization efforts. Additional services in 2020 will include entrepreneurial and organization training for the Main Street Board of Directors in each community.


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


Last week, Missouri Main Street Connection had the opportunity to take Missouri Executive Directors and other community representatives on the Iowa Community Expedition. They were able to visit five different Iowa communities and learned valuable lessons at each stop. The five communities were Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Downtown Des Moines East Village, Valley Junction, and Centerville. MMSC was grateful for the hospitality we received at each of these communities. It made for an incredible learning experience! #MainStreetOnTheRoad


Ottumwa, Iowa

Comments from our Directors about what they learned or were inspired by in Ottumwa:

  • "We want to create more events that will bring minorities downtown."
  • "I met a lot of inspiring people that lead their Main Street in a small town."
  • "Top Hats supporting a soup kitchen in the back of their business. We were inspired to give back more to the local community."  
  • The use of planters.
  • Green roofs.
  • "The back entrances were welcoming and I would love to take that back to my community."

Oskaloosa, Iowa

Comments from our Directors about what they learned or were inspired by in Oskaloosa:

  • Small whimsical touches.
  • "I want to name our alleys."
  • Amazing upper story living. 
  • Planters wrapped with historic photos. 

Valley Junction, Iowa

Comments from our Directors about what they learned or were inspired by in Valley Junction:

  • "I loved the Valley Junction Arch found in downtown."
  • "The cool signage as a result of a grant program."
  • "The stores were unique and I found connections to keep in contact with to use for future events." 
  • "Digital signage in a store to share promotions and community events."

Centerville, Iowa

Comments from our Directors about what they learned or were inspired by in Centerville:

  • "We learned about the purple cow and we believe we found ours!"
  • The wide variety of businesses downtown.
  • Using numbers in downtown decisions.
  • The above and beyond hospitality and kindness. 

Gayla Roten said, "I'm excited to be able to bring Executive Directors on this Community Expedition. We look forward to be able to do this again so that Missouri Main Streets are able to visit other communities to continue to be inspired and thrive." 

To view more photos please visit: https://www.facebook.com/MissouriMainStreetConnection

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

Friday, November 8, 2019
Moberly, MO

Nearly everyone has a much-needed redevelopment project, big or small, in their downtown district. Learn ways to match those preservation projects with local investment and tools that will contribute to the development in your community. This session will take you through the steps of local development including how to identify and implement historic preservation projects for adaptive reuse of historic properties, possible tax credit projects, funding options, historic preservation grants, creative matches, and more. Presenters will have case studies to show the process and help find creative solutions to problems and concerns. They will also share successes, tips, and tools to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of historic preservation. Understand redevelopment using state historic tax credits and how Missouri not-for-profits and local governments can redevelop historic buildings using state tax credits. These are all important aspects of creating an environment that promotes redevelopment. The last hour of this session will be a panel discussion with all presenters – come prepared to ask questions about your own building preservation needs. 


Register Online Here: https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=58

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

Friday, September 13, 2019

Jefferson City, MO

For many communities, our small businesses are working truly at an “independent” level, trying their best to succeed and in some cases, to just stay afloat without an active support system in place to help them address needs and market opportunities.

While overall economic development efforts in communities of all sizes don’t always include attention and support to small businesses and even more specifically, to mom & pops, Main Street is all about strengthening our existing local economy by supporting our downtown entrepreneurs.

From developing retail promotions that work, to cutting-edge tools that add understanding on trends and best practices, this session will highlight important strategies to not only position your Main Street program as a valuable partner, but consciously build a strong supportive environment for the success of our downtown entrepreneurs.


Register Online Here: https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=56

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

Things To Know Before You Go!!

  1. Did you know hospitality is our conference goal and our goal for your local Main Street Program? “A friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” We hope you enjoy the experience…


  2. The Registration Office is located in the Cupples Foyer outside the Cupples Ballroom. You can pick up your registration packets, badges, and tickets during the following hours:

    Tuesday:       1:00 pm – 5:00 pm    

    Wednesday:   7:30 am – 5:00 pm    
    Thursday:      8:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday:           8:00 am – 12:00 pm

  3. Get ready & bring your shopping list! Shop a variety of Missouri & Main Street themed items. The Main Street 5 & Dime will be located in the Cupples Foyer.

  4. Main Street 101 training will be held Wednesday from 9 am – 4:30 pm in Cupples Salon C. Attendees that participate in the entire session and complete the Main Street 101 test with a passing score, will receive a Certificate of Completion. Certificates will be awarded at the Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony & Dinner. Email Janie@MoMainStreet.org if you would like to attend.

  5. The Main Street Clinic is open on Wednesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm and Thursday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm for anyone needing a boost of inspiration or a listening ear. Bring photos of what you wish to discuss. Stop by for a chat–no appointment necessary!

  6. Peter Kageyama and Brandon W. Johnson will sign books immediately following their Keynote Presentations at the Main Street 5 & Dime. Peter’s address will be Thursday morning at 9 am and Brandon’s address is Friday morning at 9 am.

    Preview the sessions & speakers HERE!


  7. Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony & Dinner will begin in the Promenade Foyer and Promenade Ballroom at the Westin St. Louis Hotel for the Wine Reception beginning at 6:00 pm. The Evening of Excellence Awards Dinner will follow beginning at 6:30 pm where we will have dinner and present awards to Missouri communities to celebrate their outstanding special projects and events. Tickets available at the registration office.


  8. What to wear:

    1. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Conference Sessions:  Business Casual (no jeans please).

    2. Tuesday evening’s Opening Reception at Budweiser Brewery:  Casual attire.

    3. Wednesday evening for the ShowMe Bash at the National Blues Museum:  Casual attire.

    4. Thursday evening, Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony & Dinner:  Semi-formal/Cocktail attire.

      As conference session rooms tend to be chilly, we suggest wearing layers or bringing a sweater or jacket.

  9. Weather forecast for the conference (as of 7/18/19):

    Day / Temperature / Condition / Precipitation

    TUESDAY  High of 82º / Low of 63º; Sunny, 0% Chance of Rain

    WEDNESDAY High of 83º / Low of 64º; Sunny, 10% Chance of Rain

    THURSDAY High of 85º / Low of 65º; Sunny, 10% Chance of Rain

    FRIDAY High of 87º / Low of 68º; Mostly Sunny, 10% Chance of Rain


  10. Overnight guests of The Westin will receive 25% discount off food and soft drinks in Clark Street Grill.

  11. Bring your business cards to enter Exhibitor Prize Giveaways in the Expo Hall! The drawing will be held Thursday at 3 pm.

  12. Is this your first Main Street Conference? Look for the  in the sessions descriptions on the website and in the conference program to help guide you on the best sessions track to help lay a foundation of knowledge to build your Main Street skills.


We wish you safe travels and look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

Comments 1 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.

Join us at Missouri's Premier Revitalization Conference to hear Keynote Presentations by Peter Kageyama, Brandon W. Johnson, and Ben Muldrow. 

The Westin St. Louis
July 24 - July 26, 2019

Peter Kageyama is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. He is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of 'the city.'

Peter speaks about emotional engagement with PLACES- cities, towns, communities, neighborhoods, and especially downtowns, which he calls the "psychic centers" of places. Good things happen when more people become emotionally engaged with their places and when more people fall in love with those places. Main Street programs play a unique role in creating this sense of place. 

Peter will inspire the audience to encourage people to go from saying they love a place to actually doing something for that place. He believes Main Streets can compete and even thrive in the Age of Amazon with bottom-up community development and the amazing people who are making change happen.

Peter will be available at Main Street 5 & Dime to sign books immediately following his address. 



Brandon W. Johnson, a.k.a. "Positive Energy Guy" has had the honor of developing tens of thousands of leader through his leadership trainings, workshops, and speeches over the past 20 years. In 2017 and 2018, Brandon was honored and humbled by being named the #1 Global Guru for the Hospitality Industry. 

Brandon has more than 20 years of experience in operations and leadership positions in the hospitality industry, non-profits, training organizations, entrepreneurship, and higher education. He holds a bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management and a master's degree in management technology with an organization development focus. His clients include such well-known names as McDonald's, Hilton, Famous Dave's, Hyatt, and Odyssey Resorts. 

Brandon's trademark passion, heart, and energy inspires audiences everywhere while also giving them practical tools to take their results in business and life to the next level. Brandon's book, "Hospitality from the Heart," will help you engage your employees, deliver extraordinary service, and create loyal guests.  

Brandon will be available at Main Street 5 & Dime to sign books immediately following his address. 

Join Ben Muldrow as he discusses all the current trends and future changes that could revolutionize our nation's downtowns. Ben has been presenting at Main Street conferences for nearly twenty years. His motivation and quick wit will keep you engaged and his background in branding and marketing will reveal insights and inspiration that will give you practical steps you can put into action right away to shape the future of your town. This fast - paced presentation is sure to get you excited about the changes happening on Main Street.  

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

There are 3 keynote sessions and 15 classroom sessions that you are able to attend this year at Missouri's Premier Revitalization Conference. 

Here are the 15 different classroom sessions that you can attend:

  • Game Changers In Entrepreneurship! 

  • Main Street In Urban Environments - Best Practices For Success

  • Empower Change Through Partnerships for Extraordinary Projects

  • Downtown's Dirty Little Secrets

  • My "Place" Changes Things! 

  • Speak LIFE Through Storytelling

  • Historic Preservation - Appreciating The Weird

  • Creating Communities For All Ages

  • Combining Historic Tax Credits With Opportunity Zones

  • How Will YOU Celebrate 2021 Missouri Bicentennial?

  • Recurring Events In Your Downtown - Bringing Visitors Every Month

  • I Want What They Have - How To Successfully Develop An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (Or Not)

  • Teaming With Veterans To Strengthen Main Street And The Community That Shops There

  • Looking At Money From All Angles To Develop A Solid Funding Structure 

  • Bring To Life Your Community And Economic Development Projects


View All Session Descriptions & Speakers Here


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


Mayor Sandy Lucy
Washington, Missouri

Comments 0 Rating: Be the first person to rate this post.
Page 1 of 4
First Previous
Next Last
Pages :