We’re celebrating a successful decade of nonprofit service as Missouri’s premier downtown revitalization organization! As a coordinating program through the National Main Street Center, Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) has administered the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to any interested community in Missouri, helping to raise the state of Main Streets in Missouri to the healthiest it's ever been.
The reinvestment on Missouri’s Main Streets has continued to climb since 2006 with over $683 million of private investment and over $140 million in public investment.
Volunteers in Missouri Main Street communities have donated over 285,312 hours of service at a value of over $6.0 million, making volunteer-led downtown revitalization one of the most cost-effective economic development programs anywhere.
And with small business at the heart of downtown development, Main Streets foster the entrepreneurial spirit every day. Since 2006, over 526 net new businesses opened their doors with over 2,936 net new jobs created. Even during the recession, Missouri Main Street communities were adding jobs faster than losses occurred.
Although the Main Street Philosophy has been present in Missouri since its launch in 1989 as a state-funded program within the Department of Economic Development (DED), the success of the program was halted in July 2003 when funding was stripped from the state budget and the lone staff person administering the program was reassigned to other duties within the DED. Was Main Street in Missouri dead then?
After many calls and unsuccessful pleas to Missouri legislators, 12 local Main Street program managers fought to keep the state program going in Missouri. By working with the National Main Street Center and the DED, a valuable contract was in place by July 2003 to take up some of the slack in funding. The Main Street managers continued to meet in communities around the state for training and looked to a representative from the National Main Street program for guidance and assessments. It became apparent in training after training that more Missouri communities wanted help with their downtown revitalization efforts. But...without a state-funded program, how would that need be met?
Through the determination of that core group of local program managers and supporters, the Missouri Main Street program was resurrected in 2006 from a discarded state-run organization into Missouri Main Street Connection, a nonprofit 501c3 with the potential for broader opportunities and resources for funding to support the education effort for revitalization.
Today, as the coordinating program through the National Main Street Center, MMSC serves as the state’s clearinghouse for information, technical assistance, research and advocacy. Through financial support from partners that believe in our mission, corporate sponsors, individual contributors, grants and a contract for services with DED, we are able to provide consulting services, on-site visits, conferences/workshops, and publications to educate and empower local organizations to lead the revitalization of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.
We’re proud of the success we have achieved over the past 10 years and invite you to celebrate with us at our annual Get Plugged In…Downtown Revitalization Conference July 26-28! Join us in Washington, Missouri, and help us celebrate the power of our Missouri Main Street communities!