Published March 26, 2018 | National Main Street Center | Announcing the 2018 Great American Main Street Award Winners |
The National Main Street Center, Inc., announced Downtown Oregon City, Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, and Howell Main Street as the 2018 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners during its annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The awards were made possible through support from U.S. Bank.
“This year’s winners are a testament to the power of Main Street revitalization,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Thanks to dedicated leadership, broad community support, and commitment to a comprehensive and incremental approach, these three Main Street programs have brought renewed vibrancy to their downtowns. It’s truly inspiring.”
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This transformation is spearheaded by Howell Main Street Inc. in conjunction with the Downtown Development Authority. Despite a challenging regional economic environment, downtown Howell now has a vacancy rate of just 1.2 percent and is home to a diverse mix of businesses that foster a strong sense of place to attract and keep people downtown.
In years past, downtown Howell was home to mostly professional services that filled a need, but failed to bring the kind of energy and enthusiasm needed to make downtown a place that drew people in and gave them a reason to stay. Through extensive engagement with local partners and the City, and strategic business recruitment, downtown now boasts a diverse mix of businesses featuring unique retail, dining establishments, and service industries. Anchored by entertaining destinations like the new local brewery Aberrant Ales, entrepreneurial attractions like the Frontal Lobe co-working space, and cultural institutions like the Howell Opera House and Howell Movie Theatre, downtown is once again a destination.
“Howell is a prime example of a small rural community that is doing big things. They have all the charm you’d expect in a historic Main Street community, but they don’t stop there,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Downtown Howell is setting itself apart as a supportive place for entrepreneurs and business owners and that’s how we’re seeing small communities stay competitive in today’s economy.”
When it comes to the hearts and souls of communities across America, Main Streets serve as a vital center of connection and revitalization. Together, this year’s winners represent the resilient spirit and bright future of Main Streets across the country.
To watch the Opening Plenary Livestream, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAq6O6mzzqk.