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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.

 

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Missouri Main Street Blog Section

Blog Home > Archive (October, 2021)
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Ben White »

Our Affiliate Tier is home to many different types of communities from urban pilot programs enrolled in Saint Louis Main Streets, community programs getting started through the Community Empowerment Grant (CEG) program, and communities that have graduated out of the CEG program and are strong, sustainable revitalization organizations like the Historic River District, the Main Street program in Ozark, Missouri.

 

The Historic River District fully utilized their time in the Community Empowerment Grant program (formerly the Affiliate Grant Program) and built the foundation of a strong, sustainable organization that is making an impact in downtown Ozark. Chris Schafer, the President of Historic River District, remarked about their organizations time in the CEG program:

 

“I would recommend the grant services to anyone that is looking to improve their community. The training and structure that was given through these grant services were second to none from an organization (Main Street) that truly understands what it takes to improve your downtown community. It is unbelievable how much support and information is available on what to do to improve your community and how to go about it. The training opportunities that were afforded to us gave the direction and guidance for what each committee needed to work."

 

Chris Schafer lists the amazing things that have happened in their community since graduating out of the Community Empowerment Grant from placemaking and beautification to community amenities to even events:

• A veterans tribute on the anniversary of the end of the WWI in conjunction with the Christian County Museum and the local American Legion;

• Trunk or Treat Event on the Square;

• Cruising the Square event;

• The Heart of Ozark Gala;

• Haunted Walking Tour program in the fall;

• Friday Night Parade of Lights;

• A beautiful mural along South Jackson Street; and

• A new Gazebo on the Christian County square.

 

"This Affiliate Grant also helped us to build strong relationships with both city and county government. It has been a blessing to our organization and our community," Chris Schafer.

 

If you are interested in revitalizing your downtown using the structured services and resources of the Community Empowerment Grant program, please reach out to Program Outreach Specialist Ben White at ben@momainstreet.org or (816) 560-1722 for more information.

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The USDA Rural Grant named by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) the My Community Matters Grant ended in 2021 after providing over 29 services for 10 different Main Street districts.  The services provided followed the National Main Street Four-Points of Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion for the following communities: Brunswick, Butler, Canton, Concordia, Fayette, Kirksville, Knob Noster, Odessa, Monroe City, Rockaway Beach, Sikeston, and Willow Springs.

 

The services provided ranged from branding and marketing, development of communication tools, business development, store design consultations, façade photo-renderings, placemaking, streetscape design, board and volunteer development, and upper floor housing development. We have shared many of the products developed over the past 2 years of the grant and would like to share some of the highlights from various communities.

 

Communications Tools

 

Fayette Main Street participated in the IMPACT Communications exercise with 4 other Main Street organizations. This exercise involved the board of directors to assist in the creation of communications fact sheets to help demonstrate the impact of downtown and Main Street to various stakeholders within and outside the community.

Marketing Tools

Downtown Monroe City’s Main Street organization plans an annual fundraiser called the Pig and Swig to promote the agricultural heritage of their community. Ben Muldrow, branding specialist, created a full branding toolkit for the organization and their events.

 

Streetscape Designs

Knob Noster’s downtown district received a streetscape design for State Street from Andy Kalback. Andy provided not only recommendations about the design of the street and sidewalks but also provided placemaking suggestions for parklets and fun, creative crosswalks.

 

Façade Photo Renderings

Randy Wilson, architect and design specialist, provided façade renderings for almost every community that participated in the My Community Matters grant program. Many have been implemented with plans for many others to be implemented soon. Photo renderings provide guidance, inspiration, and details on the potential for a building that is sought out by the owners or city officials. Many times a photo rendering can be accompanied by a façade grant program.

 

While the My Community Matters grant program is coming to an end, the impacts of the program are still being measured. As the projects in these Main Street districts continue to develop and come to fruition, the impact will be measured from dollars invested to businesses opened and jobs created. If your Main Street program or downtown district is interested in receiving services like those outlined above, reach out to Missouri Main Street or check out the Service Directory here. 

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There is a lot of action in the Downtown Strong Grant world now that the consultants have hit the ground running. 

 

´╗┐We are working with 12 different consultant groups who all are passionate about helping each business and organization be successful and thrive!


Approximately 90% of the 65 businesses and 17 organizations have had initial contact with their consultants and an initial meeting of some sort (mostly virtual) with their consultants. In these meetings, the consultants have learned more about the business or organization and asked a lot of tough questions to see where the business or organization stands, if anything has changed since the application process, and what they want to accomplish. It gives them the information needed to provide the best services possible within the grant guidelines and budget.


Some of the consultants have already set up on-site visits over the next couple of months and all are moving as quickly as possible to deliver their services. MMSC plans to also have a presence at as many of these on-site visits as possible to strengthen this partnership (business/organization – consultant – MMSC) and to continue to grow these relationships.


If you are one of the businesses or organizations who have not yet had initial contact with your consultant, don’t be concerned. You will hear something soon! Each of the consultants are working in their own unique way and on their specific timelines, but all are committed to this program!


If you have any questions or want to chat about this program and services, please reach out to Project Manager, Marla Mills. We can’t wait to see the impact of this program on Missouri’s downtowns and their businesses!!

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