2017 Main Street America Excellence Awards

Main Street America Excellence Awards

The National Main Street Center is pleased to announce recipients of the 2017 Main Street America Excellence Awards! All three awards—Innovation on Main Street Award, Business Leadership Award, and Main Street Hero Award—were presented as part of the Main Street Now Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., on May 3, and were generously sponsored by Edward Jones.

Innovation on Main Street Award
Texas Main Street Program, Celebrate Main Street project
Gulfport Main Street Association, Fishbone Alley “Urban Living Room” project

Business Leadership Award
Buster's Main Street Café, Cottage Grove, Oregon

Main Street Hero Award
Michigan Main Street, a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Innovation on Main Street Award 

The Innovation on Main Street Award recognizes high caliber Main Street America programs for successful, sustainable initiatives that represent new approaches to downtown revitalization challenges or opportunities. The award is open to any Standard, Designated or Coordinating Program member of the National Main Street Center.

Texas Main Street Program
Celebrate Main Street was a campaign launched by Texas Main Street (TMS), a program of the Texas Historical Commission, to recognize its 35th anniversary. To honor this achievement, TMS launched a sweepstakes campaign to draw attention to the collective achievement of all participating Texas Main Street communities while promoting them as destinations for visitors. Interested participants could sign up to enter, and winners received a prize package of a weekend getaway to one of the 89 Main Street cities—including lodging, dining, entertainment, and activities that showcase the historical aspects of each Main Street community.

“This award exemplifies what Main Street is all about—creativity, ingenuity, and savvy use of resources,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Upon this big 35th anniversary, we applaud the Texas Main Street Program for their many successes, including the Celebrate Main Street campaign.”

The contest was a huge success, not only for Texas Main Street, but for Main Street communities and businesses across the state.

Gulfport Main Street Association
The Fishbone Alley “Urban Living Room” project in an inspiring example of the power of the power of Main Street to transform downtowns and rally communities. Gulfport Main Street Association helped to turn an underused, unattractive alley right in the middle of the downtown district into a vibrant public space, featuring century-old brick pavers, public art, and enchanting lighting.

“So much of what we do in Main Street is about changing attitudes about what’s possible,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. The transformation of Fishbone Alley does just that—it proves the potential of public space to bring community together and enliven a downtown.”

The grand opening in 2016 drew thousands of locals and visitors alike who wanted to experience the essence of this “urban living room”—a space unlike any other on the Gulf Coast. 

Gulfport Main Street Association, located in Gulfport, Mississippi, is part of the Main Street America network.

Business Leadership Award 

The Business Leadership Award recognizes the critical role that local businesses play in a healthy economy, and honors the hard-working small business owners that keep those enterprises going while contributing to the community.

Buster's Main Street Café
The Toccos purchased Buster’s Main Street Café in 2011. Since then, they have grown the business into new locations and now employ 15 people in town. Their leadership extends far beyond just that of employers— they are true community citizens, giving back to Cottage Grove at every opportunity.

“Strong Main Street communities succeed because of small businesses like Buster’s,” says Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “A place like Buster’s is so much more than just a café; it’s a community anchor, employer, and a gathering place for residents. Citizens like Paul and Amy Tocco, the owners of Buster’s, exemplify what Main Street is all about.”

In 2013, the Toccos began providing free meals to veterans and active service duty members. Since then, the entire community has gotten on board, initiating a monthly ‘thank you’ on the 11th of every month. On that day, Main Street is adorned with American flags welcoming service members to Cottage Grove. And of course, they are all provided with a free meal at Buster’s.

Buster’s is located in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Cottage Grove Main Street is part of the Main Street America network.

Main Street Hero Award 

The Main Street America Hero Award recognizes outstanding contributions by an elected official, government staff person, public agency, or nonprofit organization at the local, state, or federal level. Winners of the Hero Award are champions of community-driven comprehensive economic development, leaving a lasting impact on their own community, region, or state, while also enhancing national efforts to revitalize America's downtowns and older and historic commercial corridors.

Michigan Main Street, a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
The Michigan Main Street Center has a long track record for outstanding commitment to communities throughout the state through direct technical assistance and forward-thinking leadership. Michigan Main Street, now a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, also has a long-standing and strong partnership with the National Main Street Center, including support for professional development initiatives like the Main Street America Institute, as well as the roll-out of the refreshed Main Street Approach to all of its communities.

“For years, Michigan Main Street (MMS) has distinguished itself as a leading Coordinating Program in the Main Street America movement, truly embodying what it means to be a Main Street Hero," said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “As a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MMS has demonstrated transformative leadership in leveraging comprehensive community development tools and resources to enhance the roll-out of the new Main Street Approach to its communities.”

About Edward Jones:
Edward Jones, a FORTUNE 500 firm, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with more than 7 million clients.  The Edward Jones Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.