Main Street Ottumwa Honored at Annual Award Celebration

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Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Development Awards celebration Friday evening in Des Moines. The program honors the efforts of local leaders who work tirelessly to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns and Main Street districts.

Fourteen projects were recognized with Main Street Iowa Development Awards and 47 leadership award recipients were honored for exceptional leadership and volunteer contributions to their local Main Street programs.

“The Main Street Iowa program stands as one of the nation’s most distinguished, as witnessed from the award-winning projects in rehabilitation, business recruitment and support, façade improvement, housing, placemaking and special events,” said Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) Director Debi Durham. “It’s evident that Main Street Iowa communities thrive under passionate leadership, achieving remarkable success.”

Main Street Ottumwa received the 2024 Spirit of Main Street Award, a prestigious honor awarded annually to an individual or community that truly demonstrates the spirit of Main Street at work in Iowa. The recognition honors their groundbreaking partnership with Main Street America, Main Street Iowa and Google through the Grow with Google initiative, which teaches local business owners and entrepreneurs the skills that are essential to reaching customers in today’s digital economy. The partnership impacted more than 1,000 businesses.

“Seeing the impactful efforts of local Main Street program staff, volunteers, and communities is inspiring,” said Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “With significant growth in businesses jobs, and investments across communities of all sizes, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s achievable for Iowa’s downtowns.”


2024 Main Street Iowa Development Award Winners:

  • Building Rehabilitation (Over 5,000 Population): Hopkins Willard Project, Marshalltown
  • Building Rehabilitation (Under 5,000 Population): The Serving Café, West Branch
  • Business Recruitment (Over 5,000 Population): Something Blue, Nevada
  • Business Recruitment (Under 5,000 Population): Tour of Dreams, Grundy Center
  • Business Support (Over 5,000 Population): Main Street Micros Grant Program, Spencer
  • Business Support (Under 5,000 Population): Influencer Marketing Collaboration, West Branch
  • Façade Improvement (Over $50,000): Art on the Fly & Imagination Alley, Jefferson
  • Façade Improvement (Under $50,000): Cox Law Firm, Centerville
  • Housing: The Pub Lofts, Jefferson
  • Placemaking (Small Scale Activity): Mayfly Mayhem Murals, Burlington
  • Placemaking (Comprehensive Effort): Bridges to Renewal Projects, Lansing
  • Special Event (Under 5,000 Population): First Fridays, Albia
  • Special Event (Under 5,000 Population): Saving a Slice of History Building Tours, Woodbine
  • Special Event (Over 5,000 Population): District Street Party, Cedar Falls

Six communities were recognized for reaching new milestones in the amount of private investment in their commercial districts:
$100 Million Cedar Rapids – Czech Village and New Bohemia
$3 Million Monticello
$2 Million Nevada
$1 Million Albia, Coon Rapids and Jewell

Main Street Iowa was established in 1985 and operates as a part of the IEDA’s Downtown Resource Center. Since its inception, the Main Street Iowa program has had a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, including more than $2.7 billion in private investments, more than 3.8 million volunteer hours, more than 5,500 new businesses created and more than 16,600 jobs.

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