Main Street Trenton’s achievements were highlighted during a town hall meeting at The Space in downtown Trenton on November 1.
Lauren Dannar, the Executive Director of Main Street Trenton, discussed the organization’s triumphs and objectives.
Dannar mentioned the significant contribution of young people to the farmers market and encouraged involvement from middle school, high school, and college students.
She believes that high school students have the most substantial commitment to downtown and noted that research indicates that students who are engaged in their hometown are more likely to return after gaining experiences from college or vocational training.
The Main Street Trenton Board is considering reinvesting a portion of the organization’s funds into another property, similar to the Main Street Mercantile initiative.
Dannar highlighted that many grants applied for by Main Street Trenton require matching funds, necessitating community backing to secure additional program funding. She clarified that when the organization has unrestricted community funds, it can invest in property and obtain grants for building rehabilitation.
Dannar emphasized that Main Street Trenton’s endeavors are community-focused and that collaboration with residents can lead to significant improvements in Trenton.
Ben White, Senior Program Specialist at Missouri Main Street Connection, praised Main Street Trenton’s annual report for 2022, pointing out some “impressive” figures that even larger communities might envy.
He celebrated the emergence of 13 net new businesses in downtown Trenton since 2019.
Additionally, the downtown area saw an increase of 35 net new employees since 2019.
According to the annual report, five new businesses were established in downtown Trenton in 2022, with one business relocating outside the district. The report also detailed $43,000 in private investments and $10,000 in public investments made in 2022, complemented by 339 volunteer hours and 206 event hours. Members of the board, volunteers, and staff participated in 10 training sessions.
White remarked that Trenton’s downtown is unparalleled.
Keith Winge, State Community Development Director at Missouri Main Street Connection, concurred that Main Street Trenton is excelling. Each visit to Trenton shows him progress, with renovations underway and new businesses opening.
The Trenton Downtown Improvement Association transitioned to a Main Street program approximately five years ago. Winge recounted that the National Main Street Center was established in 1980, and the Missouri Main Street Connection was founded as a nonprofit in the early 2000s.
He described Main Street as a top-tier downtown revitalization program rooted in place-based principles and led by the local community. The network facilitates connections among communities, coordinating programs and downtown professionals.
For further details about the organization, reach out to Lauren Dannar, Main Street Trenton Executive Director, at 816-838-3545.