(Des Moines) Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Thursday announced that three Iowa communities were selected to join the Main Street Iowa program: Avoca, Guthrie Center, and Newton.
For more than 27 years, the Main Street Iowa program and its communities have been looked upon as the “best of the best” in a national effort to revitalize downtowns across the country. The addition of these new communities brings the total number of Main Street communities in Iowa to 52.
Greenfield Republican Representative Clel Baudler commended the communities for their efforts.
“Congratulations to Guthrie Center, Avoca and Newton,” said Baudler. “I think they’ve done an outstanding job in rallying the community behind this effort and it was successful.”
Baudler says these communities have created more than 4,100 new businesses and 12,000 plus new jobs.
“The volunteer hours should be absolutely looked at and that’s an effort by Main Street folks to rally their local communities to quite frankly, in some cases, preserve their past and save their city or town,” stated Baudler.
While it may be challenging to become a Main Street community, designated communities reap many benefits. During the first three years of the program, each community receives approximately 40 days of on-site training and technical assistance from Main Street Iowa, National Main Street Center staff and private consultants, as well as 30 days of training for volunteers and local staff, valuing the state’s investment at $120,000. Main Street communities each receive continuing training and technical assistance valued at $10,000+ annually.
For more information on the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program, visit www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com.