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Main Street Iowa Development Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements

Main Street Iowa Development Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements Award-Winning Projects, Entrepreneurs, and Volunteers Honored

NEW MILLION DOLLAR BENCHMARKS REACHED IN 2021 Private dollars invested in commercial district rehabilitation and property acquisition in the designated Main Street districts since the program's inception. $10 Million – Fort Dodge and Hampton

April 22, 2022 (Des Moines) - Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Development Awards celebration this evening at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work tirelessly to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities, and people making a difference in the state’s Main Street districts.

This year, 13 projects were selected to be recognized from the 76 competitive nominations submitted. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority, presented the honors.

Forty-three leadership award recipients were honored throughout the evening for their significant and inspirational leadership and volunteer contributions to their local Main Street programs.

“The Main Street Iowa program is a powerful economic development tool that has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in business, jobs, and investment in communities of all sizes because of the program. As a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”

The Spirit of Main Street Award was also presented to the network of 53 local Main Street executive directors for their dedication, creativity, and commitment to their local economic development efforts through the challenges of 2020 and 2021.

“Main Street is grassroots economic development,” said Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “It is inspiring to witness the impactful work of local Main Street program staff, volunteers, and community partners.”

During the event, eight communities were recognized for reaching new milestones in the amount of private investment in their commercial districts. Grundy Center was recognized for reaching the $2 million benchmark, and Lansing was honored for $3 million in local investment. Colfax, Manning, and West Branch each attained the $5 million benchmark. Fort Dodge and Hampton were recognized for achieving $10 million in local investment since being designated as local Main Street programs, and Mason City reached the $50 million benchmark.

Several communities were honored for significant anniversaries for Main Street Iowa program designation during the evening. The communities of Cedar Falls, Spencer, and Valley Junction in West Des Moines are celebrating their 35th anniversary this year. Osceola was recognized for 25 years of program participation. The communities of Marshalltown and Mount Pleasant were recognized for achieving 20 years of designation and Chariton, Jefferson and Lansing are all celebrating 10-year anniversaries this year.

As part of the event, two Iowa communities were recognized with a special honor for being named recent Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) semifinalists by Main Street America. Jefferson (2020 GAMSA Semifinalist) and Mount Vernon (2022 GAMSA Semifinalist) were honored for exemplifying the use of the Main Street Approach to revitalize traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts.

In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted Main Street America’s Four-Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the IEDA. Since then, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, including 5,237 new businesses, 15,759 jobs, and more than 13,000 building projects totaling more than $2.4 billion in private investment.

For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit, email or call 515.348.6184.

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A list of awards presented during the ceremony may be found here:

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