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Russell receives Union Pacific and National Main Street Center recovery grant
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TOPEKA – The National Main Street Center announced this week the eight recipients of the Union Pacific Kansas Main Street Recovery Fund, a grant program to support the economic recovery of Kansas downtowns and commercial districts impacted by COVID-19. This program is made possible by Union Pacific, and grant funds will go toward implementing ideas for marketing or promotion to help commercial districts reopen safely.

“We are proud to partner with Union Pacific and the Kansas Main Street Program to support these outstanding Main Street organizations during this difficult time,” NMSC’s President and CEO Patrice Frey said. “Implementing the programs proposed by these grant recipients will be vital to helping small businesses and local economies weather the storm of COVID-19.”

• Independence Main Street, McPherson Main Street Inc., Russell Main Street Inc., and Seneca Downtown Impact Inc. will receive $3,000 each to support downtown marketing and promotional initiatives, as well as technical support from the National Main Street Center’s Field Services team and complimentary Main Street America membership. Independence Main Street will use grant funds to offer a Main Street gift card promotion, providing shoppers with gift cards for money spent downtown. Russell Main Street Inc. also plans to launch a Main Street gift card program. McPherson Main Street Inc. will host a downtown shopping event. Seneca Downtown Impact Inc. will create a social media campaign and retail rebate program.

• El Dorado Main Street Inc., Leavenworth Main Street Program Inc., Downtown Overland Park Partnership, and Downtown Parsons will receive $3,000 to support their commercial district marketing efforts. El Dorado Main Street Inc. will use grant funds to create a video series highlighting local businesses, and Leavenworth Main Street Program Inc., will launch a comprehensive marketing campaign with events, videos, and merchandise to showcase downtown merchants. Downtown Overland Park Partnership plans to implement a multi-media marketing campaign about their downtown, and Downtown Parsons will use funds to offer a community gift certificate giveaway.

“I’m so pleased to see the grants awarded to support great projects planned in these Main Street communities across Kansas,” Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “The downtown district is the heart of the community, and that’s exactly what these projects aim to revitalize. In addition, these grant-funded initiatives will help bring new prospective businesses and professionals looking for a comfortable, modern location. This assistance is critical as we recover from the fallout of COVID-19 and return to a posture of growth.”

“We are thrilled to provide support to these Main Streets to help ensure Kansas downtowns and commercial districts remain vibrant in the months and years to come,” Ben Jones, senior director of public affairs at Union Pacific, said. “Our employees live and work in these communities, and we believe these projects will have a positive impact, igniting the economy as we recover from the pandemic.”

Grant project ideas were judged based on how they would contribute to commercial district recovery efforts, as well as their community impact after the initial project implementation. Recipients are all designated Main Street America communities and recognized Union Pacific communities.

“Union Pacific has a long-standing history in many downtowns across Kansas,” said Scott Sewell, Director of the Kansas Main Street program. “We appreciate the efforts of U.P, and the National Main Street Center to help make these grants available as downtowns begin to reopen and recover from the pandemic.”