Main Street Iowa Awards Recognize Outstanding Achievements

April 3, 2020

For more information contact:

Kanan Kappelman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone:  515.348.6248 

Main Street Iowa Awards Recognize Outstanding Achievements

April 3, 2020 (Des Moines) - The Main Street Iowa Awards program recognizes the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s 55 designated Main Street Iowa districts. This year, 19 projects were selected from 155 competitive nominations submitted in 13 different categories.

“Main Street Iowa has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. “We continue to see significant growth in the amount of business, jobs and investment in communities of all sizes due to the program, and as a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”

The Main Street Awards ceremony, previously scheduled for April 3, was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. A full list of award winners follows.

Signature Project Award
Jefferson Matters: Main Street
Recognized for Jefferson Rural Forge, a project that rose above the traditional award categories in regard to impact and significance.

Private Investment Milestones

Nine communities reached milestones in the amount of private investment in their commercial districts.   

Grundy Center: $1 million
Newton: $5 and $10 million
Ames, Le Mars and Ottumwa: $20 million
Burlington, Cedar Falls and Davenport: $100 million
Dubuque: $750 million

Main Street Iowa Anniversaries
Corning and Iowa Fall: 30 years
Central City, State Center and Story City: 20 years

In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center's Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.

Since 1986, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, resulting in: 

  • The inception of 4,943 new businesses and a net gain of 15,170 new jobs;
  • More than 12,400 building projects reported, totaling a private investment of $2.07 billion; and
  • More than 3.4 million hours of human capital equating to greater than $87.5 million in time and talents according to the Independent Sector’s estimated value of a volunteer hour.

To learn more about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit, email or call 515.348.6184.


A list of award recipients for 2020 may be found here:

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