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Charles City businesses recognized by state economic development agency

Charles City
Charles City

DES MOINES – Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration on Friday, May 1, 2015 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (Iowa Events Center) in downtown Des Moines. The event recognized local Main Street projects, activities and volunteers and was attended by approximately 500 individuals representing communities across the state. Competitive nominations were submitted for 107 projects and activities within the five categories of design, economic restructuring, organization, promotion and overall program. Twenty-one projects received winner awards recognition and nine received honorable mention.

Charles City won 6 awards: The Rustic Corner (Business of the Year); Darbe & Co. Boutique (Business Start-Up Success Story); Communication Strategy (Communication); FFA Partnership (Partnerships); Jim Lundberg of Community Revitalization won volunteer of the year award; and Mark Wicks won a 2 years of service award.

Other North Iowans who won awards were: Hampton’s Katy Flint of the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce won a volunteer of the year award; Mason City’s Eric Levenhagen of Main Street Mason City won a volunteer of the year award; Spencer ‘s Christin Lee & Sheryl Lee of Spencer Main Street won a volunteer of the year award; Mason City’s Jodee O’Brien and Hampton’s Newton Grotzinger won volunteer of the year award.

The honors were presented by Governor Terry E. Branstad and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). In addition to the competitive nominations, individuals, couples or co-chairs representing the 52 Main Street programs were recognized for their outstanding dedication and volunteer service. The program directors accompanied their volunteers on stage as they received their certificates.

“In my 1985 Condition of the State address to the Iowa Legislature, I proposed finding the funds to create Main Street Iowa,” stated Governor Branstad.  “We knew from the very beginning that Main Street was not a quick-fix solution, but rather an incremental approach to fostering positive change. In my travels across the state, I have seen the program at work in small towns, mid–size cities, urban centers and neighborhood commercial districts.   It has had far greater impact than we ever could have imagined in 1985.”

In its 29-year history, Main Street Iowa has tracked over $1.4 billion in private investment in the purchase, construction and rehabilitation of property in participating commercial districts, significantly increasing the state’s job and business base. In addition, over 2.5 million hours of volunteer time have been logged collectively by local main street organizations.

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