According to the Oklahoma Main Street Center’s most recent reinvestment figures, there has been a total of over $593 million reinvested into Main Street districts across the state, $400 million of which came from private funding sources.
These figures include reinvestment from over 60 communities that have participated in the project since 1986 when the Oklahoma Main Street Center was established to assist communities in preserving and revitalizing their historic commercial core district. There are currently 42 active Main Street Communities including five urban areas.
“I am a charter member of Main Street and have seen many improvements credited to Main Street in downtown Enid. A number of buildings have been restored with Main Street’s help which have enhanced the appearance of our downtown. Because of Main Street, 62 corner planters have been planted and maintained which gives our businesses a beautiful and more welcoming show case,” said Vicki Brown of The T-Shirt Store in Enid.
The Oklahoma Main Street Center is one of 42 state coordinating programs around the nation. Under the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Streets across the nation, operate off of the Main Street Four Point Approach™ including Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.
“The structure of the Main Street program allows for communities of every size to continue to grow through the four-point approach,” said Main Street Enid Director Lindy Chambers. “Main Street Enid is nearing its 15th year of making our downtown the best that it can be. Is our work done? No, and if we continue to grow in terms of added businesses, residential living spaces, events and quality of life attractions, we will never be finished.”
In just over 20 years, Oklahoma Main Street towns have accomplished over 3,100 facade rehabilitations, seen nearly 1,500 public improvement projects and sustained over 3,500 new business within their districts.
“Main Street has benefited my business by letting me be a part of the growth of Wilburton. The new streetscape, which as a member of the Design Committee I helped to create, has increased foot traffic on Main Street, and increased the business in my flower shop,” said Jerri Marley, owner Talbot’s Flowers and Gifts in Wilburton.
The organization, which operates in each town largely based on volunteer efforts under the direction of a single salaried staff person, has tracked over half a million volunteer hours since 2002.
For more information on the Main Street Program call 405-815-5171 or log onto www.okcommerce.gov/mainstreet.