We love historic downtowns!

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

Public and Private INVESTMENT


Net new businesses


Net New jobs


volunteer hours


Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.



Missouri Main Street Blog Section

Blog Home > Archive (March, 2021)

Welcome to spring and with it, hopefully spring temperatures! 

The Historic Preservation Committee is excited to bring a lot of resources to our communities, including the one-pager on painting your building and additional one-pager documents in the future. The committee is really dedicated to bringing tangible resources to your community, so be on the lookout in the future for more of these types of resources. Also, the committee has a really exciting announcement at the Missouri Main Street Conference July 28-30, so be on the lookout for that. 

Have you begun preparations for Preservation Month in May? This important time of the year is a big opportunity to celebrate your historic downtown, the unique-to-you part of your community. You can celebrate this in a myriad of ways, ranging from an architectural scavenger hunt to walking tours. As long as you celebrate your community’s history, that’s what’s important! How will you celebrate?

Now is the time to check on those downtown buildings to make sure they withstood the freezing and thawing of the winter. Look for popped our brick, paint that has weathered off and more. In April, we will talk a little more about this, but start walking around your downtown now to make sure the buildings are well-taken care of and don’t need work as we head into warmer weather.

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Main Street America brings to light the impact of COVID-19 through its recent survey with particular interest dedicated to our local main street businesses. They found that despite the troubles over the past year there is much to hope for in the power of people.

Over the past year, whether you’re in a metropolis, rural suburb, or quaint town, COVID-19 has affected everyone including the people we talk with daily—from our cashier during grocery runs to the local store, our barber during our weekly haircuts, and our Saturday shopping sprees at boutiques:
“88% of small business owner respondents were concerned about the risk of permeant closure… 29% reporting they wouldn’t last beyond the next three months… 45% reporting they won’t last beyond the next six months… 51% of businesses had laid off or lost employees…net loss of 2,380 jobs” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).

These places are bearing the burden under imposed regulations and lockdowns that have put barriers and hurdles in the way of providing what their communities need and their livelihood; including our beloved historic mom-and-pop shops or new innovative entrepreneur ventures. This has created further duress as the tools that have equipped many in both urban and rural centers to attain financial freedom, have now been pulled out from under them as a result of the pandemic:
“frustrations with changing regulations on business operations…new expenses to adapt operations…coping with reduced demand…frustration with requiring customers to abide by mask and social distancing regulations…additional credit card debt [and more financial strains] … leaning on savings [and other assets] to keep their business afloat” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).

Then what has kept communities across Missouri afloat throughout the ongoing pandemic? Is it the hope of a promised stimulus check, I doubt it? It is the measures that small businesses and local organizations have taken to not only support their communities but to support themselves, which have been far beyond what many could imagine and have carried us this far. This exceptional strength, dedication, and collective power grows out of the resilience of people in their communities that won’t give up no matter what odds are stacked against them. They adapt to what life throws at them because their livelihood depends on it and that is the life they are used to as members and owners of working-class America. Main street programs are continually supporting their communities in lieu of government aid and help allocate the aid that is available to those who need it most:
“feeling the crisis in their own work… 63% of programs expect to have reduced budgets” “but 58% of programs expect they will try to do more with less” (Small Business and Main Street Program Insights, Michael Powe).

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Missouri Main Street Connection has developed an online training series providing in-depth details on the National Main Street Four-Point Approach. Main Street 101 will benefit board members, volunteers, and city officials on the principles of Main Street and the best practices related to a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.  The Main Street approach and structure have been used in over 2,000 communities across the country since the 1980s.

The Main Street 101 online training is available free of charge to all communities in Missouri and was developed by the Missouri Main Street Connection staff with the help of specialists and partners.

What's included in Main Street 101?

  • The Main Street 4-Point Approach
  • National Main Street Background
  • Main Street Principles
  • History of Missouri Main Street Connection
  • Missouri Main Street Connection Available Resources

 Resources Available:

  • Handbook for all 4-Points
  • Executive Director Handbook
  • Main Street Approach Guide
  • Community Engagement Guide



All Missouri Main Street programs with an agreement will be required to have all new Board Members and Executive Directors/Managers complete the online training series and pass a multiple-choice test to gain their certificate of completion.  Each new individual will have six months from joining the organization to complete the online training series and gain their certification to meet the terms of their annual agreement with Missouri Main Street Connection.  The current fee to access the test for certification is $50 per person.

Once the exam has been completed and a passing score has been received, the certificate of completion can be downloaded or printed.  Please provide a copy of this document to the local Main Street Executive Director or Board President and it will be required as a part of the annual program review process. 

Certification details:

  • 50 question online exam
  • Questions based upon the 4-Points and Main Street Principles
  • Questions are either multiple choice or true/false 
  • One hour to complete the exam
  • Must pass with a score of 80% or higher


Take the Main Street 101 free training here

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Kemper Fund for Kansas and Missouri of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, USDA Rural Development (an equal opportunity organization), and Karen Bode Baxter. 

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