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

Down—town! Remember Petula Clark’s song, “Downtown”? What a great memory for those of a certain age. Down—town! Downtown is still a great place to meet friends, go shopping, have coffee—all of those things and more.

Everything is waiting for you downtown. You can go to a coffee shop, buy flowers for a sweetheart, shop for a gift, or visit a favorite salon. All of these businesses can be found downtown.

Downtown is a reflection of the community past and present. It is the city’s commercial, cultural, and historic center. It is the center of activity for the community. It is a gathering place for residents, a destination for visitors, and a meeting place for families. People congregate downtown to walk, dream, and plan their future. It is a great feeling when you have the sun shining on your face in downtown!

Small businesses and entrepreneurs often collect in the central business district because it is the jumping off point for new business. Many people love mom-and-pop businesses, and they love to support them as well because they are the heart and soul of a community. They have shared memories. They are the backbone of the region.

Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) supports small businesses in Missouri’s downtowns. Downtowns are important for many reasons. Oftentimes they are collectively the largest employer in a community, especially the smallest communities. Downtowns contain the iconic landmarks in a community. Downtowns create a healthy environment where commercial, cultural, and civic activities come together.

MMSC helps create the environment to help small businesses succeed. When small businesses gather in a location, they create the synergy to enhance a community economically, physically, and historically. The value of a historic building is not calculated on the cost of bricks and floors; its value is calculated on the collective memories and what it brings to the community.

The Bicentennial Passport, developed and circulated by MMSC, is about events and gatherings in Missouri Main Street communities and helping them celebrate Missouri’s two-hundredth birthday. Some of the upcoming events you will find in the passport are: “Show Me Lee’s Summit: A Celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial,” “Stories in Stone” in Chillicothe, “Missouri Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit, Struggle for Statehood” in Excelsior Springs, the Bicentennial Quilt displayed in Clinton, the 40th Annual Art Fair and Winefest in Washington, and “MO Art Now: A Bicentennial Celebration Exhibition” in Joplin.

You will find these and many more great events in Missouri Main Street’s 2021 Bicentennial Passport that runs through the end of 2021. It’s not too late to get your passport, just visit a Missouri Travel Center, a local Main Street office, or call 417-334-3014. If you would like more information about the Main Street program for your community, contact MMSC at
[email protected]

See you Downtown!