Main Street Chillicothe is once again a nationally and state Accredited Main Street community following a program assessment by Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). Accredited status is the highest level a downtown revitalization program can achieve.

To receive National and State Accreditation status, a community must meet or exceed the 10-point criteria established by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These criteria are utilized across the country to recognize high achieving Main Street programs.

According to a press release from MMSC State Director, Gayla Roten, the 10-point criteria cover various aspects of revitalization work that help create a sustainable, community-driven Main Street program. These criteria ensure a broad-based community support for the program, a strong historic preservation ethic, active Board of Directors and committees, as well as other technical aspects that help the program function at a high level.

:Main Street Chillicothe accomplished several design-related projects in 2019 including the development and renaming of Chillicothe Arts District to the Kelly Poling Arts District in honor of the local muralist. Activities like these provide the backdrop for encouraging entrepreneurship, business recruitment, and customer attraction,” Roten said.

The Accreditation process includes a self-evaluation and submission of materials from the program that support their work for each criteria. Each community was then assessed by MMSC to determine tier placement. Though it is a critical moment for a Missouri Main Street community to become Accredited, it is equally important for the community to maintain the Accreditation status once it has been earned.

Throughout 2019, Main Street Chillicothe saw public and private investment of over $2.2 million in the historic district from 32 projects. The district saw a net gain of three new businesses and 11 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Main Street Chillicothe donated 6,035 hours of their time.

The Missouri Main Street Program's purpose is to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on numerous recent studies showing that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement, where people will want to live, work, and invest, making our State economically stronger. The goal of the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Main Street Four-Point Approach®.

“Missouri Main Street Connection works diligently to equip our communities with the tools they need to revitalize their historic districts and make them the economic and cultural heart of their community once again,” Roten said. “Achieving Accredited status, showcases that Main Street Chillicothe is achieving this goal through their work and doing so at an elevated level. We are proud of all they have accomplished.”