Downtown Washington, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic development and preservation of our history, heritage and historic structures. Downtown Washington, Inc. was founded in 1959 as a merchants committee and was incorporated in 1973. We are one of the first five pilot Main Street Programs in Missouri chosen in 1989. Downtown continues to be the heart of our community, thanks to dedicated use of the Main Street.
A ROADMAP TO REVITALIZATION FOR COMMUNITIES OF ALL SIZES…
Every community and commercial district is different, with its own distinctive assets and sense of place. The Main Street Approach™ offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable four point framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. The Main Street Approach helps communities get started with revitalization, and grows with them over time.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN STREET APPROACH FOUR POINTS?
• ECONOMIC VITALITY focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.
• DESIGN supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart.
• PROMOTION positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics.
• ORGANIZATION involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT A DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON, INC. EVENT?
We have many sponsorship opportunities. Our events draw visitors from throughout Missouri and the Midwest. Your financial support not only helps us build awareness in the community, it also supports year round downtown preservation and economic development efforts. Please consider being a part of our success in keeping downtown Washington the heart of Washington and a source of pride for our community.
ACHIEVEMENTS & HIGHLIGHTS
• In 2012, Downtown Washington, Inc. was named a Great American Main Street by the National Main Street Center, an honor only given to three communities in the US each year. This is awarded to communities that show excellence in Main Street preservation, design, events and economic development.
• Over 70 unique and locally owned businesses call downtown Washington home. These businesses are vital to the economic development of Washington because 68% of money spent at local businesses stays in Washington, whereas only 43% stays from chain stores.
• Downtown Washington, Inc. hosts 30+ events and trainings each year welcoming over 85,000 visitors. Multiple volunteer committees meet year round to plan the events and hundreds of volunteers help run them.
• Downtown Washington, Inc. is a national model for preservation and economic development and is one of only seven nationally and state accredited Main Street Communities in Missouri.
• Downtown Washington is a resource for attracting business, industry and new residents to Washington. A vibrant community center, like downtown Washington, signals a strong community overall. A busy downtown offers community engagement and opportunities to get involved.
FROM OCTOBER 2018 - SEPTEMBER 2019…
• 9,953 Volunteer hours valued at $76,865
• 30 Net new jobs
• $8,318,599 in private investment
• $417,725 in public investment
• 37 Potential new businesses and/or
property owners consulted
THE SECRET TO OUR SUCCESS…
This is an easy question to answer and it’s just one word…teamwork.
Teamwork is essential in every aspect of what we do. From our staff, to the board of directors to our committees and volunteers, teamwork is the key. With a staff of four full-time and two part-time employees, volunteers are essential to achieve 84 event and training days that we host each year.
Teamwork also extends to our relationship with the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Washington. Each organization performs a key role in the growth and prosperity of Washington. The informal structure of this team is…
• Downtown Washington, Inc. counsels and searches for small businesses and potential property owners for the downtown district.
• Washington Area Chamber of Commerce counsels and searches for small businesses to locate outside of downtown.
• City of Washington counsels and searches for large businesses and industry to relocate or expand to Washington.
There are also many other commissions and committees that are part of this team including, but not limited to, Core Restructuring Committee, Economic Vitality Committee, 353, Tourism Commission, Division of Tourism, Division of Community and Economic Development and our many service organizations.
Keep in mind, we all have the same goal…the success, growth and continuation of our communities. We have different approaches and methods…that is an asset! Approach every meeting with an intention of cooperation and success and you will see progress.
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