Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) is excited to announce the appropriation of matching grants to two communities seeking to create a Main Street program and one well-established Main Street program aspiring to grow and improve their efforts. Main Street Moberly, Inc. was awarded the Strategic Teams Engaging Places (STEP) Grant, a one-year program to identify, create, and implement a plan of action for a specific initiative. The cities of Sugar Creek and Butler were both awarded the Affiliate Grant, a program designed to help each community create a Main Street program, build a foundation, then identify and implement goals.
Main Street Moberly has Renewed Energy
Main Street Moberly, Inc. was established in 1989 to counteract the blight in downtown Moberly, but the program has ebbed and flowed through the years. Recently new businesses have opened in downtown and downtown events have been successful in sparking a renewed energy for the organization to take the opportunity with the STEP Grant to tackle a few obstacles for growth. Main Street Moberly currently supports approximately 125 downtown businesses with a part-time executive director.
Sugar Creek is taking an Active Revitalization Role
Situated on the Missouri River between Independence and Kansas City with a population of over 3,000, Sugar Creek attempted downtown revitalization in the past with small successes which led to the renewed interest in the Affiliate Grant program. Some private and public improvements have happened organically in the downtown district in Sugar Creek, but with the assistance of the Main Street Four-Point Approach® the community wants to take a more active role to speed up the process. Armed with small town charm and an active plan for growth and development, Sugar Creek declares “life is about to get even sweeter.”
Butler is Eager to Preserve Their Rich History
Butler is south of Kansas City along I-49 and is the county seat for Bates County. Downtown Butler features a square as the city center and is rich with history having been one of the first communities west of the Mississippi to install electric lights illuminating the downtown area, giving it the name “The Electric City.” With a renewed drive from some enterprising community members, interest in downtown is on the rise. Opportunities for developing empty storefronts and attracting business from the interstate will allow this town of over 4,200 to create a vibrant downtown. Historic preservation, community pride, and job creation were the main drivers for Butler when applying for the grant.
Grants are Available for New and Established Organizations
Missouri Main Street offers three matching grant programs providing up to 75% of the costs: Affiliate Grant, People Energizing Places (PEP), and Strategic Teams Engaging Places (STEP). These grant programs continue the mission of MMSC, which is to provide the tools and resources for downtown revitalization to Missouri communities. MMSC is a 501(c)3 and financially supported by funding from the State of Missouri, Missouri Department of Economic Development, grants, sponsors, members, and other donations. Over 178 Missouri communities receive education, training, and mentoring from MMSC through workshops, conferences, consultations, assessments, and personal visits.