Main Street Excellence Awards presented
Elizabeth Chase with the Nebraska Main Street program was in Wayne last week to present awards to the Main Street Wayne program, several individuals and a Wayne business.
"Annually we recognize the most outstanding projects and people on Main Street in Nebraska. Projects large and small are recognized and serve as outstanding examples of what downtown revitalization is all about. We are here today to recognize the efforts of those who work day in and day out on Main Street revitalization in historic downtown Wayne. Without the volunteers, the business owners, city officials, investors, stakeholders and supporters of the revitalization effort and Main Street program in Wayne, downtown would not be as vibrant as it is today. The hours and financial investment that has been made is important to the community and to the state of Nebraska," Chase said.
The first award presented recognized Main Street Wayne.
The National Main Street Center holds each coordinating program to a 10-point criteria of excellence. In turn, the local programs are measured against those same criteria and recognized as communities that achieve Main Street America accreditation. The accreditation standards include having broad-based public and private community support for downtown revitalization; mission and vision statements; a comprehensive work plan; historic preservation ethic; an active board of directors and committees; an adequate operating budget; paid staff; attendance at state, local and national training programs; and reporting of key statistics. They must also be an active member of the National Main Street Center Network.
Chase told those in attendance at the award presentation that all seven of Nebraska’s designated Main Street communities met Main Street America Accreditation in 2016 - Beatrice, Falls City, Fremont, Grand Island, Plattsmouth, Sidney and Wayne. These communities were recognized at the National Main Streets Conference last May in Milwaukee.
An award was also presented to Irene Fletcher, who serves as the Executive Director of Main Street Wayne.
"Executive Directors are the most visible and active advocates for downtown revitalization efforts no matter what community they represent. They possess a broad knowledge base and real life experience with everything from historic preservation to business development. We would like to recognize Irene Fletcher for her service of more than 5-years to Main Street Wayne, Revitalize Wayne and to the Nebraska Main Street Program," Chase said.
The Main Street Business of the Year Award is presented to a Main Street business who has demonstrated the most interest and action in their downtown revitalization effort through improving their own business. Recipients of this award in the past have been new businesses to the downtown, businesses that have worked hard to expand by adding new jobs, or have expanded their customer base. Some have made dramatic physical improvements to their buildings or have taken a strong leadership role with the local Main Street organization and helped increase peer participation in the program. Each community nominates a business of the year to be honored.
Chase kept the recipient of this award in suspense by reading the following nominating information.
"In 2012, this business renovated a previously vacant building on Main Street and opened a very busy business. The owner and staff provide a great service to the Wayne community by offering out-of-town clients suggestions on what to do while they wait. Clients of this business come from as far away as South Sioux City. Other downtown businesses have commented on how many customers say they stopped in because of a recommendation from this business. Congratulations to this year’s Main Street Business of the Year, Canine Design."
The Main Street Volunteer Award is presented to an individual who has invested his/her personal time and energy to the local Main Street organization and whose leadership has helped the program achieve its vision and goals. Each community nominates a volunteer of the year to be honored.
The nominating information stated, "This person has organized the planting of the downtown flower pots, serves as VP of Revitalize Wayne, leads Chicken Show Committee, and helps out behind the scenes whenever asked. This year’s Main Street Volunteer of the Year is Nancy Johnson."
Nebraska is one of 45 state, countywide and urban city coordinating programs across the country that provide education and technical assistance to communities within their jurisdictions. Main Street is the ONLY program that utilizes a comprehensive, local market based grassroots downtown revitalization approach. Main Street’s fundamental purpose is to capitalize on the sense of place that is unique in each community and cultivate success incrementally.
Main Street works with communities to build a sustainable, long-term foundation with strategies that combine design, organization, promotion and economic development which in turn strengthens the business environment downtown and increases the value of the downtown for the community, long-term. The Nebraska Main Street Network partners with communities to transform and revitalize hometowns. By supporting preservation of our heritage and treasured resources, we’re making history from history.