TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the Kansas Main Street program is seeking new communities to join the program in 2024. Kansas Main Street provides technical assistance and support for communities working to revitalize their downtown areas by focusing on economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization.
The Kansas Main Street program was initially launched in 1985 but was ended in 2012 under the Brownback Administration. Governor Kelly restarted the program in 2019 with support from the Kansas Legislature.
“The Kansas Main Street Program has been crucial to preserving and growing downtowns across the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Downtown areas are the heartbeat and pride of most communities across Kansas, and improving these community pillars is part of how we’ll bring new jobs to the area.”
Communities wishing to submit applications must first attend a virtual application workshop, which will explain the Main Street Approach and the process for completing the application. Main Street Kansas will host the next virtual application workshop at 10 a.m. Monday, November 13.
Applications for the Kansas Main Street program will open on December 4 and close on January 26, 2024. Applications will be reviewed in February, with new communities announced in March.
“Eleven communities have been added since Governor Kelly brought the Kansas Main Street program back in late 2019,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “These Kansas communities now have the resources and tools needed to support economic development and breathe new life into their downtowns and historic commercial districts.”
Benefits of earning designation as a Kansas Main Street community include:
- Comprehensive technical assistance from the state and national programs to further economic development downtown
- Training in strategic planning, program capacity-building, and organizational management for the Main Street organization
- Individualized training for Main Street managers, boards, and other Main Street participants
- Attendance to statewide quarterly training and professional development opportunities
- Access to design services to help downtown property owners undertake effective rehabilitation, restoration, adaptive reuse, and infill projects, as well as reimagining public spaces within the district
- Access to business assistance such as recruitment and retention, succession planning, business plan development, and entrepreneurial development
- Membership in the Main Street America network
“The Main Street Approach is a proven economic development tool, especially for small, rural communities,” Kansas Main Street Director Scott Sewell said. “It has been a great resource for communities in Kansas, and we always encourage more participants in the program.”
Registration for the November 13 application workshop is required, which can be completed here.
For more information on the Kansas Main Street program, click here or contact Director Scott Sewell at (785) 230-6404 or [email protected].