Gov. Beshear: Main Street Communities Report $61.4 Million Investment, 649 New Jobs and 126 New Businesses in 2023

Main Street investments include $5.6 million in budget and grant contributions, $23.1 million in private investments and $32.7 million in public investments

                                      beshear coleman

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 29, 2024) -  Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced that Kentucky Main Street program communities continued to thrive in 2023 with a reported $61.4 million cumulative investment in downtown commercial districts, generating a net gain of 649 new jobs and 126 new businesses.

The $61.4 million investment includes $5.6 million in budget and grant contributions from counties and cities and $23.1 million in private investments, matched by $32.7 million in public improvements. Public improvements encompass building rehabilitation and renovations, new construction and other enhancement projects.

Additionally, these communities finished the year with a net gain of 393 full-time and 256 part-time jobs, 30 new business expansions, 223 rehabilitation projects, 214 façade and exterior renovation projects, 190 public improvement projects and 10 new construction projects completed in Main Street districts.

“Communities thrive when their downtowns are vibrant, and our Kentucky Main Street program plays a vital role in revitalizing downtowns, attracting new business and opportunities for our people and contributing to Kentucky’s economic growth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to our Main Street leaders for their dedication to improving their communities for future generations to enjoy.”

“Kentucky’s main streets are the backbone of our communities and the heart of our small towns,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Attracting people, businesses and opportunities, our downtowns help provide prosperity for Kentuckians in every corner of the commonwealth. This year, the Kentucky Main Street program celebrates its 45th anniversary, and it’s a great time to reflect upon the impact this program has on small towns across Kentucky.”

“Today’s news proves that small towns can create a big impact. In supporting communities across the commonwealth, the Kentucky Main Street program has facilitated incredible economic outcomes,” said Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “Our Main Streets are the heart and soul of our communities.”

The Kentucky Main Street program has generated more than $4.7 billion of investment throughout the commonwealth since its inception.

In 2023, London Main Street reported a net gain of 36 new businesses, 10 business expansions, 218 new jobs and a cumulative investment of $15.6 million in its downtown district. Julie Rea, London Main Street Director, highlighted the program’s ability to showcase the unique qualities of these communities.

“The Kentucky Main Street program creates community. The experience of walking down our commonwealth's unique main streets tell the stories of our lives. We can reminisce about our childhood and delight in how those buildings are repurposed with just the right touch of nostalgia. Community members can come together and celebrate what makes our town unique. Whether it is honeybuns, fried chicken or historic architecture, our Kentucky Main Streets bring a special slice of hometown pride to the table,” said Rea.

LaGrange Main Street reported $19.4 million in cumulative investment, welcoming a net gain of seven new businesses and 32 new jobs. Teresa Boling, LaGrange Main Street Director, underscores how the program supports local business owners while preserving downtown’s rich history and creating opportunities for the future.

“Local communities are where the American dream wakes up. People with an entrepreneurial spirit can test their wings on a Kentucky Main Street and have lots of support and even a helping hand if they don’t fly successfully,” said Boling. “Having a team at Main Street provides the cheerleaders we need to keep working toward our goals, allowing us to protect this place we call home while creating emotional, physical and spiritual health for the community.”

Paducah Main Street reported $3.3 million in cumulative investment, 26 rehabilitation projects and a net gain of seven new businesses. Nicholas Hutchinson, Paducah Main Street Director, emphasized how the Kentucky Main Street program provides resources for the preservation and revitalization of downtown communities, building community-driven economic growth.

“Kentucky boasts a rich history that is preserved today through various historical resources. Kentucky Main Street is a program that seeks to support communities in their efforts to revitalize their localities by providing technical assistance and leveraging available resources,” said Hutchinson. “This program is built on the successful blueprint of Main Street America, which promotes community-driven economic growth through the development of locally owned businesses. Kentucky Main Street is an excellent opportunity to strengthen local economies, enhance local leadership and improve the overall quality of life for residents.”

The Kentucky Main Street communities’ investments and job creation build on the commonwealth's recent economic momentum, including within the tourism industry.

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