Main Street

We are Main Street! What does that mean? It means that we use Historic Preservation as economic development to revitalize our downtowns and we use the Main Street 4 Point Approach.®  It also means we have access to Design Specialists, Business Specialists, Promotion Specialists and can apply for Challenge Grants in the years that they are available to help revitalize downtown buildings. Because of Main Street, Gravy Home Goods in Jewell won $13,000  for their shop in the Open 4 Business Competition, Restaurants can participate in Restaurant Week in September, we have won awards, and are getting recognized around the world!

Hamilton Hometowns is Award Winning for their Hamilton Hometowns Hoopla celebration!

Bruce Johnson- Volunteer of the Year, 2017

The “Home Team” wins for the Hoopla! 2017

Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant

Challenge Grant Award Winners 2015

The Challenge Grant program is funded through the Iowa Legislature.  To learn more about challenge grants or the Main Street program contact
 Hamilton Hometowns., 515-832-9575 or

JewellstreetThe Main Street approach to downtown revitalization was developed in 1977 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) in Washington, D.C. with the goal of economic development within the context of historic preservation. In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the model and in 1991 Hamilton County became a pilot project for utilizing the model on a countywide basis.
The Four Point Approach is a trademarked and copyrighted program of the NTHP’s Main Street Center. The program is based upon the following four points:
Business Improvement — This element involves diversifying the downtown economy by identifying potential market niches, finding new uses for vacant or underused spaces and improving business practices.

— Utilizing appropriate design concepts, the visual quality of the downtown (buildings, signs, window displays, landscaping, and environment) is enhanced.

 — Each community has many groups of people who are interested in and are willing to work toward the goal of a revitalized downtown. The organizational element brings together the public sector, private groups and individual citizens, with coordination by a paid program manager, to work more effectively in the downtown.Promotion — By promoting the downtown in a positive manner, a community can begin to focus on downtown as a source of community pride, social activity and economic development potential.
Four Hamilton County communities are currently utilizing the Main Street Approach in their downtown revitalization efforts: Ellsworth, Jewell, Stanhope and Stratford. Over the course of the last 28 years, however, each of Hamilton County’s nine communities have embraced the Approach.

Services Offered
Design Assistance, historic preservation incentives, referral services, coordinated promotional activities, business planning, targeted retail recruitment, trade area analysis and marketing strategies, national resource network, quarterly workshops with nationally recognized speakers, grant writing experience, marketing assistance, event/attraction advertising, low interest loan pool, and upper story renovation grants.

For more information call (515) 832-9575

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