Main Street honored Friday
DES MOINES — Main Street Washington was honored Friday evening as the economic development program won a business development success story recognition for its work with JP’s 207.
The 27th annual Main Street Iowa awards were presented Friday at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines. Completed nominations were submitted for 105 projects, of which 26 were selected for awards and six received honorable mentions. Washington also received honorable mention in the retail activity division for the Shop and Stroll, a holiday event.
“They (Main Street Washington) were behind me from the start,” Jaron Rosien, owner of JP’s 207, said during an interview for the application. “Just to have that vote of confidence from people made the difference. When I was having second thoughts about how this would fit in, they said, ‘anyone else, we don’t know, but you can make it go.’ To have their vote of confidence felt really good.”
Rosien said that, in addition to Main Street Washington providing assistance improving the signage and the rear exit of the tavern, many of the business principles he learned from Main Street programs have been invaluable.
Main Street Washington director Sarah Sadrakula could not be reached for comment this morning.
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds presented the awards. Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to 47 individuals or couples selected by their communities for outstanding dedication and volunteer service. No volunteer was selected from Main Street Washington.
“It is gratifying to see the successes Iowa communities have made because of our Main Street program,” Branstad said. “As a result of the hard work of countless local leaders, Iowa’s Main Street districts in communities large and small are flourishing.”
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center’s four point approach to district revitalization, establishing Main Street Iowa within an agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, said that Main Street is an economic development model that emphasizes the strength of public-private partnerships.
“Taxpayers are certainly getting their money’s worth,” she said. “Since 1986, for every dollar the state of Iowa has invested in operating the state Main Street program, the private sector in those communities has invested $71.93 into building improvements and acquisitions. In 2012 estimated sales tax receipts from net new businesses in Main Street communities was approximately 48 times the budget of the state Main Street program.”