Poteau rejoins Main Street program

Buffy Hughes presents Mary Parham with a plaque.
News Reporter

The Oklahoma Main Street Center announced Friday that Poteau is the newest addition to the Oklahoma Main Street Program for 2018.

Historic Downtown Poteau rejoins the program at the associate level. This brings the total number of participants in the state to 31, including three urban areas and three associate programs.

“The Oklahoma Main Street Center is happy to welcome Poteau back into the state Main Street program,” said OMSC Director Buffy Hughes.

“Poteau has a rich a history, exciting festivals and a vibrant local community. Located near Lake Wister State Park and other popular tourist destinations, downtown Poteau boasts many historic buildings, shops, cafés and restaurants. We look forward to a bright future together as we build on what has been, showcase what is and explore what is yet to come.” 

The Main Street Program is a comprehensive revitalization effort that provides communities with tools to improve their historic central and neighborhood business district areas. The Oklahoma Main Street program serves as the state coordinating program for Main Street America, a program of the National Main Street Center Inc. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce oversees the state Main Street Program.

“I am proud the downtown organization has decided to return to the Oklahoma Main Street Program,” Poteau Mayor Jeff Shockley said.

“The leadership and education provided by Oklahoma Main Street is invaluable. Our hope is this decision will advance our local organization to the next level.”

The associate level is a two-year endeavor to build capacity toward operation of the fully designated Main Street program.

Poteau will have access to limited Main Street services including training and technical assistance for preservation-based commercial district revitalization, as well as have limited Main Street requirements. The goal of the associate level is to work toward building capacity to build the organization that will lead the community into more successful downtown development.

Programs operating at the under 5,000 (population) associate level are not required to have paid staff but must have a volunteer who can dedicate 20 hours a week to the program.

The associate level will also operate with a volunteer board of directors, much like the fully recognized programs.

Poteau will receive leadership training for its program manager and board of directors, as well as training in the nationally recognized Four-Point Main Street approach of organization, promotion, design and economic vitality, Hughes said.
According to latest figures, Oklahoma Main Street communities have generated more than $1.68 million in total public and private reinvestment, created more than 18,650 new jobs and helped in the development of more than 5,400 new or expanded small businesses.

For more information about the Oklahoma Main Street Program, please call (405) 815-6552 or visit OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.