The Downtown Excelsior Partnership is once again a nationally and state accredited Main Street community following a program visit from representatives of National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). Accreditation is the highest level a downtown revitalization program can achieve.
To receive National and State Accreditation status a community must meet or exceed the 10-point criteria established by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These criteria are utilized across the country to recognize high achieving Main Street programs.
The 10-point criteria cover various aspects of revitalization work that help create a sustainable, community-driven Main Street program. These criteria ensure a broad-based community support for the program, a strong historic preservation ethic, active Board of Directors and committees, as well as other technical aspects that help the program function at a high level.
Gayla Roten, MMSC State Director, said, “The community commitment to supporting the Downtown Excelsior Partnership is a phenomenal accomplishment. From the dedicated volunteers, to the supportive merchants, to the new businesses just opening up – great accomplishments are occurring.”
The Accreditation process includes a self-evaluation and submission of materials from the program that support their work for each criteria. This is followed by a site visit for meetings with program staff, Board, committee members, and city officials. Though it is a critical moment for a Missouri Main Street community to become Accredited, it is equally important for the community to maintain the Accreditation status once it has been earned.
Throughout 2018, Downtown Excelsior Partnership saw public and private investment over $2 million in the historic district from 9 projects. The district saw a net gain of 15.5 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Downtown Excelsior Partnership donated 2,418 hours of their time.
The Missouri Main Street Program’s purpose is to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on recent studies showing that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement. Revitalized downtowns where people want to live, work and invest makes our State economically stronger. The goal of the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Main Street Four-Point Approach.
Gayla Roten also noted, “Missouri Main Street Connection works diligently to equip our communities with the tools they need to revitalize their historic districts and make them the economic and cultural heart of their community once again. Achieving Accredited status, showcases that Downtown Excelsior Partnership is realizing this goal through their work and doing so at an elevated level. We are proud of all they have accomplished.”