This article is presented in partnership with Missouri Main Street Connection.

Let’s take a stroll together to your local Main Street, or if you don’t have one, to a neighboring community. Let’s visit that local coffee shop you admire for taking the time to put a dab of cream on top in the shape of a heart or the diner that has the best burgers in town. You know … the burger made the way they made it in the ’50s with the malt that makes your mouth water.  

Whether it’s memories of catching candy at the holiday parade, shopping with your dad to get Mom that perfect Christmas gift, or seeing your friends at the Fourth of July celebration, Main Streets are the hearts of our communities that have charming scenery, shared memories, and familiar faces. 

When you shop local with downtown businesses that go the extra mile, you get services you can’t get from a big-box store. The local dress shop that wraps your items with care, the shoe store that includes a thank you card, or the local salon where you’ve been a customer for twenty years, all call you by name and help you get exactly what you need. They make sure each and every customer is satisfied and has an enjoyable, unique experience. 

Main Streets are the center of activity where local car shows, farmers markets, festivals, or wine strolls happen. They are the perfect stage to connect the community with the arts, whether it’s a street performer, a mural artist, or a school dance team. 

Downtown is a welcoming community for small businesses, from bakeries to jewelry shops to small art studios and galleries. The support system these businesses have comes from their friends and neighbors. It’s personal. 

Local Main Streets are a reflection of the past and how a community has grown and changed over time. The charming historic buildings have their own character and provide long-lasting memories of small businesses that resided in the past in those places. The present shows us that Main Streets are a great place to own your own business, raise a family, and invest in your community’s future. 

Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) orchestrates and provides training to downtowns across the state of Missouri to sustain these historic downtowns and businesses. MMSC helps create the environment to help small businesses succeed. Main Streets, small businesses, and their people are what change downtowns from places we live in to communities. Shopping local isn’t just the passing of money, but an interaction between people. Are you connected with your local Main Street program? 

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