June 12, 2021
Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street is once again a nationally and state accredited Main Street community following a program assessment by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). Accreditation is the highest level a downtown revitalization program can achieve.
Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America, stated, “We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts. During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.”
To receive National and State Accreditation status a community must meet or exceed the Main Street criteria covering various aspects of revitalization work that help create a sustainable, community-driven Main Street program. The Main Street criteria is utilized across the country to recognize high achieving Main Street programs. Gayla Roten, State Director of Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. stated, “These criteria were established by Main Street America and is a proven comprehensive approach to community economic revitalization and we are proud of this accomplishment by Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street. 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.
The Accreditation process includes a self-evaluation and submission of materials from the program that support their work for each criteria. Each community was then assessed by MMSC to determine tier placement. 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.
Gayla Roten, MMSC State Director stated, “Even during the pandemic, some great projects and programming took place. Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street was very innovative and provided inspiration for other Main Street programs.”
Throughout 2020, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street saw public and private investment of over 2.9 million in the historic district from 23 projects. The district saw a net gain of 6 new businesses and 80 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street donated 1,620 hours of their time.
“Working closely with Main Street America and Missouri Main Street Connection has helped us develop into a strong community revitalization organization,” said Dave Eames, board president of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc. “The network of support and training we’ve received has put our organization and downtown into a position of remarkable growth and we are looking forward to the future of downtown.”
The Missouri Main Street Program’s purpose is to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on numerous recent studies showing that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement, creates a place people will want to live, work and invest, and 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 Approach™.