McPherson Main Street held its annual meeting Monday night at the Mingenback Theater on the McPherson College Campus.
McPherson Main Street held its annual meeting Monday night at the Mingenback Theater on the McPherson College Campus. Those in attendance get to discuss the accomplishments of their respective companies throughout the year and how they are involved in projects throughout the community.
“To me, the most important part of our annual meeting is that we focus on the people that attend and not just a platform to list our accomplishments,” McPherson Main Street Executive Director Ann Engel said. “This is a great opportunity to connect and often results in businesses working together on future projects.”
McPherson Main Street, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer-based, membership-driven organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown McPherson through promotions, events and economic development. According to Engel, the 2015 year was not a bad year for McPherson Main Street.
“Despite the fluctuating economy, our organization has done well regarding memberships and the ability to raise funds for our promotions and activities,” Engel said. “Our members report that sales have fluctuated as well, and it seems that the businesses that survive and thrive are those that continue to adapt to their customer’s needs and the continued impact from Internet sales and other influences.”
One project McPherson Main Street is working on is the Main Street Plaza Project. The Downtown Development Committee has been collaborating with McPherson Main Street for more than three years to develop the Plaza into an outdoor recreation center that the community can enjoy and be proud of. Plans for the area include comfortable seating, shaded areas, upgrading the electricity and adding a sound system.
“We envision concerts and entertainment as well as places where workers and others can have lunch outdoors. After consulting with three architects and multiple citizens and groups, we have finally come up with a concept that incorporates all of those things,” Engel explained. “In the next few months we will begin contacting groups to share our vision and working with interested parties on fundraising options.”
The main goal of McPherson Main Street is educating the public on the importance of locally owned businesses.
“Too often I hear that there is ‘nothing to do,’ yet on any given week I see a multitude of options for all ages and price ranges. I also hear people comment that they are going to go to another city because they are looking for a specific item, and much to their surprise, I tell them, check out so-and-so, they sell that right here in McPherson; or I hear ‘it’s just easier to buy online’ from people who themselves rely on local support for their own business success,” Engel said. “On the flip side, I see and hear on a daily basis, people who admit that they don’t shop locally ask these very businesses for donations for a fundraiser, or to buy an ad to support a local sports team without seeing the connection of supporting those businesses that help them. As a community, we all have to work together to support our local businesses, large and small, because we all benefit from them and their contribution to our community as a whole.”
Last night’s meeting saw a few changes within the organization. Two board members retired: Anne Kirchner and Jennifer Perrin. While some left, new members have come to take their places. The 2016 McPherson Main Street Board is as follows:
President Kendra Hopp — First Bank Kansas
President-elect Dr. Morgan Stupka — Stupka Chiropractic & Wellness
Secretary Richard Martin — The Village Geek and Lock & Load
Treasurer Michael Yates — Mattress Haven, Lock & Load and The Village Geek
Sheryl Dossett (past president) — Peoples Bank & Trust
Ann Koehn — Multi-Community Diversified Services
Shannon Wilson — Reach Solutions
Sandy Ide — Emprise Bank
Kim Smith — Viega
Brenda Ebeling — Brooklyn & Co. and Brooklyn Bridal
Anthony Newell (new member) — Wal-mart
Katie Anderson (new member) — Midway Motors
“I am continually proud of the tenacity of our local business owners and their investment in our community,” Engel said. “While that is not really an accomplishment that Main Street can take credit for, it is what keeps our organization going and allows us to help these businesses succeed in every way possible.”
For more information on McPherson Main Street, call 620-241-7430 or visit http://www.mcphersonmainst.org.