Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

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We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

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Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

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Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

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Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

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Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

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People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

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Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

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Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
Zoom meeting on a laptop displaying attendees in gallery mode.

© Missouri Main Street Connection

Missouri Main Street Connection was one of six winners of the Main Street Forward Awards, which recognize communities that have shown exemplary recovery and resilience efforts amid the multiple crises of 2020. Selected by a national jury of economic development experts, Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) was recognized for its Four Ways to Connect programming, which helped support the state’s local Main Street programs via regular communication throughout the pandemic.


MMSC’s response to the pandemic was especially effective because of its simplicity. By serving as a clearinghouse for information, MMSC allowed Missouri’s local Main Street programs to focus on targeted assistance to meet the needs of their communities and small businesses.”

- Patrice Frey, President and CEO, Main Street America

Visit Missouri Main Street Connection
A large group of people wear matching shirts while posing for a group photo.

Directors from across Missouri gather at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington. © Missouri Main Street Connection

Video

When the pandemic shuttered businesses last year, it was clear that Missouri’s Main Streets needed resources and information. To address the needs of the more than 180 Main Street communities statewide, MMSC prioritized regular communication through four touchpoints: an online resource outlet, their Mornings on Main” webinar series, We Care Calls” with community directors, and the Downtown Chat” Facebook group.

We felt a huge responsibility to our mission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Director Gayla Roten said. Having four points of communication with our communities allowed us to provide resources, support, and tools to our Missouri Main Streets. Four Ways to Connect helped our communities spend their time coming up with creative solutions to adapt to the current situation and plan for recovery, rather than searching for information from multiple sources.”

MMSC’s online resource outlet included links to available funding sources as well as information about how other organizations were responding to the changing situation. Meanwhile, the Downtown Chat Facebook group allowed directors to ask questions and get real-time input from peers who were facing the same challenges — which proved to be useful even with questions that weren’t directly related to the pandemic response.

  • Zoom meeting on a laptop displaying attendees and a presentation slide.

    MMSC held weekly, and then monthly, webinars to help local communities throughout the pandemic. © Missouri Main Street Connection

  • Zoom meeting on a laptop displaying attendees and a presentation slide.

    Mornings on Main” webinar about funding opportunities through the CARES Act. © Missouri Main Street Connection

Through weekly video conference calls with the directors of MMSC’s local programs, the Main Street program offered more personalized support, including grant writing advice, updates from Main Street America, and news of fundraising opportunities. As the immediacy of the issues lessened, the calls eventually became monthly — but regular communication is still necessary.

The final aspect of MMSC’s programming was the Mornings on Main webinar series, which featured expert presentations providing context, insight, and ideas from around the country. Initially, MMSC hosted the webinars weekly, then transitioned to monthly in June. With an average attendance of 70 individuals, the webinars have not only had a large impact on more than 120 Missouri communities, but also on communities in 17 other states.

While the communication programming was especially beneficial during the beginning of the pandemic, it continues to be instrumental in updating Missouri Main Street communities on important resources and encouraging them to share ideas.

Ongoing communication allows MMSC to adapt to potential issues in the future — and because of its simplicity and relatively low cost to implement, Four Ways to Connect also serves as an example for other communities and states throughout the Main Street network,” Frey said.