Thursday, July 24, 2008

The annual Main Street Iowa Awards ceremony was held in Des Moines on April 18th and Professor John Fuller received this year's award for the "Best Business/Financial Assistance Program or Event" in the state on behalf of West Branch, Iowa.

The award was given for the program our seminar students attended in West Branch last fall, "Positioning West Branch for the Future." All 39 Iowa Main Street communities submitted entries. Fuller says, “I have to imagine the award was given to West Branch in large part because of the lively discussion our graduate students participated in, and the fine questions they brought up to the discussion leader. Good work!”

The Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center's Four Point Approach™ to downtown revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the Iowa Department of Economic Development in 1985. Main Street Iowa, the premier program of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, currently provides services to 39 designated communities. For more than 20 years, this program and its communities have been looked upon as the “best of the best” in a national effort to revitalize downtowns across the country.

Over the years, by working together with the state, Main Street Iowa communities have realized the benefits of more than 1.5 million hours of volunteer time committed to improving their city centers, a significantly increased job and business base, and millions of dollars in private investment to purchase, construct and rehabilitate downtown property.