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The first year of the My Community Matters grant work provided by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) has been productive for the targeted communities of the program.  The ten communities receiving services through the My Community Matters initiative are Brunswick, Butler, Concordia, Kirksville, Knob Noster, Odessa, Monroe City, Rockaway Beach, Sikeston, and Willow Springs. All ten communities have been visited at least once by MMSC staff and consultants with services tailored to their community and revitalization work.


The My Community Matters Initiative is provided by MMSC in partnership with USDA through their Rural Community Development Initiative grant. The initiative provides services, over two years, centered around the four points of the Main Street Approach and how it can further impact these communities that are relatively new to the Main Street methodology.


Mindy Hays with Downtown Monroe City (DTMC) said, “The level of support and expertise DTMC has received through the My Community Matters Grant and our partnership with Missouri Main Street has been instrumental in our success! The framework and guidance they provide is what will help us be successful not only now, but long term."


In 2019, evaluation and educational work was performed in the community and examined the economic activity of each using demographic and assessment data to help them better understand their dynamics from an economic perspective.  This type of assessment is beneficial to the decision-making process needed for downtown revitalization. It helps the community understand the business needs their citizens leave the community for and gives them guidance for what types of businesses that could be successful in their downtown.

 

(Jim Thompson presenting in Butler, MO.)


This year services focused on the design and promotion points of the Main Street Four-Point Approach.  Randy Wilson, architect for South Carolina Main Street and Community Design Solutions, along with Ben Muldrow, Partner at Arnett Muldrow, brought their expertise to Missouri.  MMSC provided not only design services to the communities, but the service also included streetscape renderings in each community. These visuals were great in getting the Main Street organization excited to begin work on rehabilitating their historic buildings and downtown. Additionally, these images are a helpful tool to get more community members involved in the Main Street organization when they can easily see the impact the organization can make downtown.

 


(Streetscape rendering of downtown Monroe City, MO.)




(Façade rendering for Monroe City, MO.)


You can read the complete Design Report which includes other renderings of downtown Monroe City and suggestions for downtown revitalization through this link:
https://www.momainstreet.org/FileStream.aspx?FileID=476

 

MMSC provided promotion training and a branding system for the downtown and community to utilize in telling their unique story. The branding helps tell a cohesive story of Rockaway Beach to both citizens and visitors showcasing the many assets that can be found there and presenting the community as a destination. Here are some examples from Rockaway Beach: 

 

 

 

The communities that participated felt that the tools provided would help them motivate and inspire the whole community in the downtown revitalization efforts. Additional services in 2020 will include entrepreneurial and organization training for the Main Street Board of Directors in each community.

 

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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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