The Latest News For You
Save The Date For Missouri's Premier
Downtown Revitalization Conference
Join us at Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference to Celebrate New Beginnings! During the past year of uncertainty and unrest, more than ever we understand the significance of celebrating the places we love. While we are mindful of the hardships so many have endured, we have learned to adapt and grow through this pandemic.

Join us as we all Celebrate New Beginnings! We more fully understand the necessity of community preservation, while celebrating the very places we live, work, and play, as we unite the people in our communities and districts. More details coming soon!
New Opportunity for Local Main Street Programs and Main Street Business Owners
Grant Application Workshop
April 8, 2021 | 9:00AM - 11:00AM OR 6:00PM - 8:00PM
RSVP by emailing
Missouri Main Street Connection is proud to announce a new grant opportunity! A grant application workshop will be hosted on April 8th at 9:00AM and 6:00PM. You must attend one of the application workshops to apply for this grant. RSVP by emailing

Areas local Main Street programs and Main Street business owners can apply for assistance in these areas:
  • Community & Business Marketing Plan
  • New Business Recruitment Plan
  • Business Retention Plan
  • Business Owner Succession Plan
  • Amenity & Communication Plans to Promote Safety as People Return to the District
  • Pop-up Shop & Incubator Benefits / Utilization
  • Featured Artisans Benefits / Utilization
  • Cooperative Business Models for Testing Market Potential
  • Market & Demographic Analysis Training
  • Establishing an Online Storefront for Growth
  • Marketing Plans
  • Advertising Tactics
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Diversify Customer Base
  • Utilize & Increase Sales on Online Platforms
  • Business Evaluation
  • Implementations of Business Solutions
  • Local Sourcing Identification
  • Operational Growth Initiatives & Shifts

We welcome creative ideas in the application process!
Missouri Main Street
Bicentennial Passport
Missouri Main Street Connection is excited to present the Missouri Main Street Bicentennial Passport to help you explore the great state of Missouri in 2021. Communities across the state are joining in the celebration! These celebrations signify the strength and vitality of both community and statewide pride.

The Missouri Bicentennial is a time to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of this great state and explore Missouri’s historic districts and downtowns. We encourage you to post photos and videos on social media of your Missouri Bicentennial adventures with #Missouri2021. Select photos will be featured on Missouri Main Street Connection’s website, social media, and other promotional materials.
Bicentennial Passport Sponsor:
Missouri Division of Tourism
Missouri is the ideal destination for your vacation in 2021 … and beyond.

While Bicentennial celebrations are a highlight of the coming year, it’s an everyday habit for the Show-Me State to treat visitors to renowned cultural institutions, amazing outdoor adventures, exciting metro areas, charming small towns and some of the best food and drink options anywhere.

Because everyone has their own travel M-O – that is, the kinds of attractions and activities they most enjoy – the Missouri Division of Tourism is excited to introduce travelers to Mo, a welcoming tour guide who can help you find your personal M-O.

In the weeks ahead, you’ll periodically see Mo on TV and online, and hear her on your favorite streaming audio platform, though the best place to catch Mo is When you’re planning your next getaway, remember there’s a Mo, for every M-O.
Jewell Cemetery Workshop & Work Day
May 5, 2021 | 10:00AM - 4:00PM
The day will start with a workshop at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, teaching about cemeteries, and historic preservation followed by lunch and hands-on cleaning efforts at the cemetery. Wear work clothes and bring gloves. We will adjourn to the hands on portion at 1pm at Jewell Cemetery. Space is limited. Further details after sign-up.
Community Empowerment Grant
Workshop Opportunity
May 5, 2021 | 10:00AM - 1:00PM
What could a 60/40 matching grant do for your historic commercial district? Any Missouri community interested in assistance to establish a Main Street organization or downtown revitalization program should attend this workshop. Only 7 grant awards will be available in 2021. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. All potential applicants must attend one Community Empowerment Grant Workshop. The grant workshop will explain the Main Street philosophy of revitalization and demonstrate the grant application criteria, materials, and process.  

This workshop is FREE, but RSVP is required. All materials will be emailed to attendees prior to the webinar beginning. You are able to view on a tablet, computer, smartphone, or dial in on your phone to listen to the conversation if your internet access is limited.
Main Street 101 Training
Missouri Main Street Connection is happy to announce a new online training series to teach the Main Street Approach™ to new board members, volunteers, staff, and city officials. The online training is free of charge for any community in Missouri. The Main Street 101 online training series was developed to fill the gap created by the cancellation of the National and Missouri Main Street conferences in 2020. The knowledge base of a Main Street program and its volunteers must include the principles of the comprehensive Main Street Approach™ to ensure a solid foundation. We encourage Main Street programs to use this online tool for volunteer development, committee training, and leadership development.

This training series will be required for all new board members and new executive directors in 2021. The requirement also includes the completion and passing grade from a 50-question exam to receive a certificate of completion as part of the annual program assessment process. All Missouri Main Street programs under a contract/agreement with Missouri Main Street Connection will fall under this requirement and there is a fee for the certificate of completion portion. 

The online training series provides flexibility for those going through the training. It will be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and can be taken at the individuals’ pace. Each module of the four points is approximately 40-45 minutes long. There is also a module on the Main Street transformation strategy development process. The training series includes various resources or guides to help a Main Street program with further committee development. 
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, and Karen Bode Baxter.
MMSC Welcomes Missouri's
Newest Executive Directors
Downtown Lebanon has selected Ashton Light as their first Executive Director. Ashton grew up on a Century Farm in Lebanon. She went to Missouri State to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business and Animal Science, then went on to get her Master’s in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics. Ashton said, "It has been fun getting to learn as I go along with my amazing Board. The Missouri Main Street community has been incredibly helpful in guiding us along the way. We recently implemented a Façade Improvement Program, working on incorporating a lot more events, and campaigns this year. I love the planning involved and the people that I get to work with."

Electric City Downtown selected Kendra Stewart as their Executive Director. Kendra moved to Butler from Republic in 2017. She is currently a full time student getting a bachelors in Elementary Education. Kendra said, "I love this position and hope to continue doing it even after I finish my degree. I started with Electric City Downtown in November of 2020, after working at the Butler school district for 3 years. My husband and I both work on Butlers Historic Square, and I am so excited to watch it continue to grow."
My Community Matters Grant Highlight
Willow Springs Main Street was one of the participating communities under the My Community Matters grant that received building renderings for several buildings in their downtown. The building above sits on a key corner in their downtown and has been in disrepair for a number of years. The Main Street program is considering acquiring this building to stabilize it and bring it back to its glory. Architect Randy Wilson provided a visual rendering of what the building could look like if restored. The Main Street group is contemplating the future use of the building as a co-working or business co-op so the rendering was done with that idea in mind. Renderings are a very effective way to demonstrate the potential for a façade and provide motivation for the property owner to make those repairs or use that paint color or uncover what is underneath. Watch this space for more examples in future newsletters.
Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street
Selected For Resiliency Grant
Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) in partnership with AARP Missouri, is excited to announce the final completed projects from the AARP Community Resiliency Project. AARP Missouri invested in projects that inspire change and improve communities for all ages. Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street was awarded $5,000 to make their resiliency project a reality. It is important for communities to activate spaces in new ways to meet the changing business climate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant was specifically designed to be implemented for the betterment of a downtown area by including community input and implementation while celebrating and encouraging inclusivity.

In the fall of 2015, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street moved their office into an alley with the goal to help activate the alleyway and to show the potential for an often overlooked and neglected part of the downtown infrastructure. Over the last five years, the organization has worked to create events and facilitate the addition of public art and building improvements in the alley for not only their office, but for their neighbors. Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street envisioned the next evolution of this alley as a space that can be more easily used for events and gatherings on nights and weekends.  

The alley activation project created a safer space for the public to gather for both small events and informal interactions. The project included:
  • Creation of an operable and artistic gate to allow for closure on nights and weekends to vehicular traffic.
  • Additional public art, specifically, a neon “816” constructed from reclaimed signage, creating a new photo opportunity that represents the community’s area code.
  • Festival lighting to make the alley more inviting and safer in the evenings.
  • Community painting of the alley asphalt mural to create a fun environment and help aid in slowing down daytime traffic, by alerting them that they have arrived in a pedestrian-shared space. The mural incorporates the depiction of 6 feet of space to encourage safe, social distancing.
  • Additional planters to help as modular barricades and add additional greenery.

Donnie Rodgers of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street said, “The overall impact has already been much greater than we envisioned. This project was a shot of optimism during a time when there wasn’t a lot of visible progress or improvements happening due to COVID-19. While the space hasn’t been able to fully meet its potential as a pop-up event space, it has given opportunities for people to enjoy Downtown Lee’s Summit. The alley gates have already inspired possible future alley enhancements across downtown to help make for safer public events for all.”
Power of the People Amidst COVID-19
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. Read MMSC's summary here.
We want to thank these partners for their investment in Missouri Main Street for the month of February
Centralia Chamber of Commerce

City of Canton

City of Jackson

City of Oak Grove

Downtown Marceline

DownTown Monroe City

Wentzville Downtown Business Association
You are invited to make a difference with your Heritage Circle donation where you can be sure that your donation will have a lasting impact. Your donation supports communities across Missouri and celebrates the importance of community culture and the value of local history while embracing traditions that make each community irreplaceable.

Your donation can be made monthly or annually in whatever amount you choose. Please choose the frequency of your donation to MMSC today by clicking on one of the buttons below.  You will receive a lapel pin designed exclusively for Heritage Circle members indicating your support for Missouri communities.
Select Frequency Of Donation
Monthly Gift
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YOUR DONATION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Missouri Main Street Connection is a statewide, 501c3, not-for-profit organization and is the leading statewide nonprofit organization devoted to preservation-based economic development. Through the Main Street America® movement and our partners, we empower community revitalization by celebrating, supporting, and sustaining Missouri historic commercial districts in both rural and urban settings.
Download the Missouri Main Street
Connection 2021 Calendar Today!
Missouri Main Street Connection | 417-334-3014 | |
Missouri Main Street Connection is a statewide, 501c3, not-for-profit organization committed to fostering renewed vitality and sustainability in historic commercial districts across the state of Missouri.
Missouri Main Street Connection is an equal opportunity organization.