For a century our Main Streets have been at the center of our communities. They have been where we work, where we shop and where we celebrate. Platte County Main Street works with local businesses and property owners to preserve the unique architecture of our past, and also provides a variety of services to help downtown areas maintain their vitality in the community.
The Platte County Main Street program provides our communities assistance in revitalizing their commercial business districts using the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Four Point Approach:
The organization component of Main Street means not only the process of organizing so the revitalization program is implemented more efficiently, but also organizing the many groups of people into one cohesive, working unit. Leadership is developed and the organization of each downtown is improved by bringing together a variety of interest groups including merchants, property owners, bankers, civic groups and city government. Through the formulation of work plans, specific achievable goals and objectives are outlined for each year of the program.
The first thing a customer notices about a shopping district is its appearance. Each community has a unique character that can be enhanced by preserving distinctive buildings and by encouraging architectural and graphic design that complements the existing buildings. Design also addresses the quality of displays in the storefront windows, as well as the merchandising techniques in the stores. Free façade design assistance is on of many valuable services offered to participating Main Street communities through local grants and state architectural staff.
Main Street helps to promote downtown districts as unified shopping areas to attract consumers, visitors, retailers and investors. Using cooperative and individual store advertising, developing a logo, staging special events and joint sales, and implementing tourism development programs are all techniques that help communities begin to identify their downtown as the center of activity, retail sales and service. Promotion brings excitement to downtown areas and draws attention to the importance and the value of these districts.
By using a variety of surveys and learning to interpret the results, Main Street communities are able to examine current economic and market forces affecting their downtowns. Based on this analysis the best mix of businesses – retail and service – is determined. Tools used in economic restructuring include market analysis and business retention, as well as recruitment and expansion efforts. Economic restructuring places a priority on strengthening existing business and bringing new business to the districts.