An overview of the Main Street Helena program was presented to a sparse crowd consisting primarily of board of directors during an open session Tuesday night at the organization's headquarters on Phillips Street.An overview of the Main Street Helena program was presented to a sparse crowd consisting primarily of board of directors during an open session Tuesday night at the organization's headquarters on Phillips Street.
Executive coordinator Shane Williams gave a power-point presentation on the history of MSH, its achievements in 2012 and its objectives in 2013.
Main Street Helena was established in 1984 as one of the original members of Main Street Arkansas. According to Williams, the mission of MSH is to serve the community and is in the midst of a new, exciting revitalization effort to promote new business, investment in the community, cultural amenities and a renewed sense of community.
Williams introduced the organization's board of directors. They are Susan Carter, president; Julia Nordsieck, vice president; Dawna Parker, treasurer; Les Seals, secretary; Brenda Braden, Dana Chadwick, Sam Elardo, Julie Goings, Vivian Hoskins, Monique Miller, Jamie VanDeWalle and Carol Weiland.
During his presentation, Williams showed historical photographic highlights of Cherry Street.
“Through our business promotions, preservation efforts, community festivals and events, we strive to bring awareness of the importance of having a vibrant downtown that is vital to community and regional growth,” stated Williams.
During 2012, Main Street Helena was instrumental in providing the following:
• Promotion of downtown events through MSH's Facebook page and Website
• Support for these downtown events: Farmer's Market, Holiday Open House, Helena on Ice, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Second Saturdays and steamboat cruises
• Access to no-cost consultations dealing with small business management and interior and exterior designs from Main Street Arkansas professionals
• A comprehensive history and index of buildings in the 100 to 500 blocks of Cherry Street to help prospective buyers
• Over 100 volunteer hours donated to downtown development.
According to statistics provided by Williams, MSH has helped establish 8,807 jobs in the community between 1984 and 2012. During that same period, 1,916 new businesses were established.
Main Street Helena is currently pushing for new members and that according to Williams is the No. 1 way to get involved in the revitalization of the community.
“As a member, you will play a role in the promotion and preservation of historic downtown Helena,” stated Williams, “helping ensure it as a business and community center for the next generation. Our budget is driven by community support and without your assistance downtown Helena will face added difficulty in fulfilling its potential as a regional showcase.”