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Positive changes noted on Main Street

Dear friends:

Another year has flown by and so many wonderful and exciting things have happened, with many more in the works. The past year has been very good for Peabody Main Street.

We recently came through another PMSA Memorabilia Auction and were awed by the tremendous support from this community. We all know we are living through tough economic times, but you would never have known it from this auction. The 2012 Memorabilia Auction was one of the best ever!

It was heartwarming to look around the room and see so many people who have been there for the Main Street program through thick and thin and who still believe in the things we are trying to accomplish. This was our first benefit auction without Bob Marshall, and we weren’t sure how it would go. I think he would have been proud.

The money from the auction allows us to do a lot of things. In years past, the PMSA board had to raise all of its operating budget as well as the salary it paid the director. With the assistance of the City of Peabody, which took the program under its wing several years ago, the money we raise can have greater local impact.

Like any organization with ties to state or federal agencies, the government demands we meet their financial requirements, so some of the money we raise has to go there. The major events we sponsor, such as Operation Celebration require event insurance, publicity, money for entertainers, food, and merchandise.

There are always more places requiring funds than there are funds to go around. In addition, we try to be very conscientious when spending money you have so generously donated.

Peabody Main Street has applied for and been fortunate to receive several grants in the past year. This success has been largely due to the work of Main Street Director Shane Marler and Christy Davis of Davis Preservation in Topeka. The grants we received are in support of our downtown renovation and preservation projects. Additional funds will be needed to complete these projects and much is happening behind the scenes to raise that money.

Our partnership with the Kansas Main Street organization has been a tremendous asset during the past months. They have met every request for assistance with an abundance of interest and enthusiasm for the success of our outstanding projects.

The funds we have received through the Incentives Without Walls program (set in place to develop or strengthen new or existing businesses and create a stronger tax base) have been essential in assisting our new business owners.

The IWW funds provide interest-free loans to business owners. As the loans are paid back, the funds can be redistributed to other owners in need of financing. We are proud to be able to help make entrepreneurial aspirations come true.

The talking-head economists generally agree that our economy is not going to be saved by large conglomerates, but by small businesses created one at a time by everyday citizens. We now have three eating establishments, a coin laundry, and a new salon. In addition, other new businesses are coming soon. How exciting is that for a town our size in these uncertain times?

We have been able to take steps to implement our downtown streetscape plan thanks to the generous memorial donations given in memory of Rosemary Litton and Robert Marshall.

The new planters went in right before Memorial Day weekend last year. The planters compliment the benches purchased previously by PMSA. Having a clean vibrant business district is vital to the success of all of our businesses. Many visitors to our community take notice of the way we present ourselves in these public areas; it says, “We care and we want you to enjoy your time in Peabody.”

I know I am going to leave some things out because there has been so much happening this year. If you would like more information regarding PMSA please visit our website or stop by the Main Street office and pick up your own copy of the PMSA Annual Report.

If you haven’t visited Peabody in awhile, come see us, we would love to show you what we are up to!

Susie Schmidt, president
Peabody Main Street Association

Last modified May 10, 2012

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