TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly has announced plans to expand the Kansas Main Street program to three more communities this winter.
Phillipsburg, Russell and Hoisington are currently members of the program.
âWhen our main street businesses are successful, our entire economy is successful,â Governor Kelly said. âThat’s why my administration relaunched the Kansas Main Street program in 2019 – to help our communities reinvest in our small businesses, bring new families to our state, and grow our economy. The expansion of the program is further proof of its success, and I look forward to welcoming three more communities this winter.
Originally launched in 1985, Kansas Main Street has helped dozens of predominantly rural communities keep their inner-city neighborhoods viable. In the first 27 years of the Kansas Main Street program, more than $ 600 million in redevelopment was invested in designated Main Street communities statewide. During the same period, nearly 4,000 small businesses were created, creating more than 8,600 new jobs.
The program was closed by the Brownback administration in 2012 and reinstated in late 2019 under direction from Governor Kelly and the Rural Prosperity Office of former Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers.
âQuality of life is key to the Kelly administration’s economic development efforts, and we know that vibrant city centers are a key indicator of the overall health of the community,â said the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of the Government. Commerce David Toland. âSince Governor Kelly restored the state’s Main Street program, communities in Kansas once again have the resources and tools they need to breathe new life into their communities and historic business districts. “
Earlier this year, the governor announced the addition of Atchison, Baldwin City and Junction City, bringing the total number of designated Main Street communities in Kansas to 28. The program will now add up to three other designated communities, which are eligible for training. and technical assistance designed to help them become self-reliant in downtown revitalization, through a competitive application process.
The competitive process to become a Main Street community will begin on December 1, 2021, when online applications become available. These requests will be due by January 31, 2022 at the latest and the new communities will be announced in mid-February.
âThe Main Street approach has been around nationwide since the 1980s and is a proven economic development tool, especially for small rural communities,â said Scott Sewell, Kansas Main Street program director. âOpening the program to more Kansas communities is another positive step forward for our state. “
Kansas Main Street has scheduled a workshop for any community interested in learning how to become a Designated Member of the Downtown Revitalization Program.
The Kansas Department of Commerce will host the virtual application workshop at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 27. Communities wishing to submit nominations will first need to attend the virtual nomination workshop, which will explain the Main Street approach and the process for successful nomination. .
To register for this workshop, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0lcu6vqzsuGNankK3ABKquNgKZXt-B3jjp
The Kansas Main Street program aims to preserve and revitalize downtown neighborhoods through the development of a comprehensive strategy based on the following four points: organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. See more details on current Kansas Main Street members here: https://www.kansascommerce.gov/program/community-programs/main-street/
For more information on the Kansas Main Street program, contact Scott Sewell, Kansas Main Street Director, at (785) 296-7288, or [emailÂ protected].