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Katelyn Brotherton

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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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Throughout 2016, we have celebrated 10 years of Missouri Main Street Connection. We have accomplished a lot in these first 10 years and hope to have as much success in the next 10! In 2017, we officially kick of the next 10 years of MMSC with some exciting projects.

 

We began working on the first of these projects in October 2016. Earlier this year we received a grant, from the State Historic Preservation Office to conduct a study on the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri. These initiatives include the Missouri Main Street program, SHPO’s Certified Local Government program, and the use of state and federal historic tax credits. We have visited several communities to collect data and stories on their experiences with these initiatives. The study will also examine stats that we have collected over the past 10 years from our Main Street communities. We are very excited to see the results of this study and hope it will be a tool to showcase the impact of Missouri Main Street and other preservation initiatives.

 


Cape Girardeau visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

Another amazing opportunity we are looking forward to in 2017 is partnering with USDA on two different projects. First, through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG), we will be able to focus our revitalization efforts in the southeast region of Missouri in order to help those communities establish a revitalization organization. When examining our work with Missouri communities, we noticed that few communities in the Southeast region of Missouri had taken advantage of the assistance we had to offer. We felt that it was important to expand our reach to communities in this area and with assistance from USDA, we will be able to offer communities in this region specialized training and mentoring.

 


Lee's Summit visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

The second great partnership opportunity we are working on with USDA is through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant. This three-year project allows us to provide in-depth training and assistance to 12 communities throughout Missouri. This assistance will help them strengthen and expand their Main Street organizations. We are very excited to work with USDA on both this project and the RBDG project.

 


Jackson community visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

The final project that we are very excited about is partnering with the National Main Street Center to bring the Main Street Now conference to Missouri in 2018! The Main Street Now conference boasts many educational opportunities to learn and connect with Main Street groups throughout the country. Currently we are still working with National Main Street to confirm the details of the 2018 Conference in Kansas City, but are so excited to have the opportunity to showcase the great revitalization work happening throughout Missouri.

 

And finally, we couldn’t take on all of these exciting new projects without a fresh new look to go with it! With the assistance of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and their local design firm, Fossil Forge, we have a new logo to usher in the next 10 years of Missouri Main Street Connection. Read more about the new logo and the competition we hosted for its design here

 

Missouri Main Street's fresh, new look beginning in 2017!

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The holiday season is upon us and in addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are two other holidays we are observing here at Missouri Main Street Connection.

The first as many may know is Small Business Saturday on November 26th. Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate all of your local businesses and the hard work they accomplish within your community. Many of our Main Street communities are celebrating Small Business Saturday with their downtown businesses. For a list of our Main Street communities visit our website and find some of the local businesses participating

The second is Giving Tuesday on November 29th. This global day of giving was founded in 2012 as a day for celebrating philanthropy and giving to causes all across the world. Giving Tuesday’s focus is uniting all people toward a common goal of giving and kindness to causes close to our hearts.

A popular trend in Main Street right now that unites the community in a celebration of local artisans, producers and historic character is a Farm to Table dinner. This unity of community is the basis for all of our work at Missouri Main Street Connection and all local Missouri Main Street organizations throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

We have so much to be thankful for this year, but most importantly we are thankful for you! Thank you for the work you do to ensure the continuation of Main Street in Missouri and to ensure our historic downtowns are vibrant places now and in the future.

As you celebrate the holidays with your families in the communities you work so hard for, please consider supporting Missouri Main Street Connection and our work in many Missouri communities like yours throughout the state through a donation. Also, consider donating in some way to your local Main Street organization.

Thank you once again for your hard work and let us all continue to celebrate and unite our communities on Main Street.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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It is has already been a busy start to the new year of Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). January saw us planning for a year full of events, trainings and celebrating our 10th Anniversary!

On the 25th of January we held our first event of 2016 in Jefferson City. Each year MMSC hosts a showcase of our Main Street communities for all of the state legislators in order to not only illustrate the impact and power of Main Street but also to highlight, once more, the outstanding work completed by our 2015 Missouri Main Street award winners. Guest enjoyed the reception while sharing their experiences in Main Street. The showcase was held at Revel Catering in downtown Jefferson City.


The beginning of February was spent finishing program visits to many of our Main Street communities. With the assistance of the National Main Street Center’s (NMSC) Norma Ramirez de Miess, members of our staff were able to visit some of our community organizations and assess their use of the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. After touring the downtown districts, they met with staff, the board of directors and committees to see what each community is working on.

March is proving to be a very busy month at MMSC. We are hosting our Main Street Summit on March 3-4 at our office in Branson. The summit is a free, invite only event for communities wanting to learn more about advancing their community and downtown using the Main Street Four Point Approach®. Two participants per community, one from the city and one from the downtown organization must be in attendance. Presented by the National Main Street Senior Program Officer Norma Ramirez de Miess, this event will focus on board, volunteer and fund-raising development as well as identifying key players and organizations to assist in each communities revitalization goals. Attendees will also learn practical tools for success of their organizations. For more information, please call our office at 417-334-3014.


At MMSC we offer three matching grant programs that help communities advance their downtown organizations. One of these, the Affiliate Grant, helps communities in the beginning stages of developing their organization. To apply for this grant, community representatives must attend one of the Affiliate Grant Workshops that we host throughout the year. The first of these workshops will be on March 9th in Jefferson City. Attendees will receive an introduction to the Main Street Philosophy of Revitalization, information on how to apply for the grant as well as the application materials. This is one of only two Affiliate Grant workshops that we are hosting in 2016, so reserve your spot today!

We begin April on a high note with our Quarterly Workshop on April 1st in Grandview, one of our Affiliate Main Street communities. This workshop titled Nuts and Bolts of Commercial District Real Estate Investment will teach attendees how, given the right tools and fundamental understanding, they can influence the market dynamics that impact local real estate investment as part of an overall Economic Vitality strategy. Speaker Matt Wagner from the National Main Street Center will use case studies and hands on examples to showcase how organizations can improve their success by understanding how to create a more attractive community environment conducive to district property development.

As you can see, our 2016 calendar is full of events to help communities across the state continue their work in revitalization. For more information and to register for these and many other events go to our upcoming trainings page. Also, stay tuned for updates on each opportunity by signing up for our newsletter. And don’t forget, early bird registration for the Main Street Now conference hosted by NMSC on May 23-25, 2016 in Milwaukee ends on February 29th. Register today in order to hear about great revitalization work happening in communities of all sizes throughout the country!

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