Main Streets Continue Thriving Without State Support

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Kansas Department of Commerce announced the termination of the Kansas Main Street program.

"We need people to understand how important that leadership at the state level was and what a successful program that was. It's really a shame to get rid of it," said Lindsay Mills, executive director of the El Dorado Main Street program.

The Kansas Main Street Program is the state-level provider for the training, information, technical assistance and "Incentives Without Walls" funding that is provided to designated local Main Street programs.

One of the IWW program recipients, El Dorado Frozen Yogurt, voiced their concern about the program's termination.

"It's sad that they're cutting that funding at the state level and it's too bad for other people that might be interested in improving the Main Street," said Kristin Howland, owner.

The Howlands opened their business last month and said the zero percent loans they received were crucial to opening their venture.

"We were very appreciative even before knowing that we would be the last ones to go through," said Tommy Howland. "Now, we feel pretty lucky. Without it, we wouldn't be able to have open."

Program directors in El Dorado and Augusta said they will continue their local efforts even without state support.

"All of us are going to continue and that's because these communities understand the importance of keeping their downtown strong and this organization has a good, strong history of doing so," said Mills.

The Kansas Main Street program started in 1985 and comprises of 24 communities in the state.

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