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FEATURES

Happy New Year, Friends of Main Street

January 4, 2024 | Gayla Roten

As 2023 came to a fast close, my heart was full due to my supportive and hilarious husband, who keeps me
laughing, and my family that believes my middle name and all my bumper stickers should be Main Street. Ok,
now seriously, we played this game at New Year’s where those were the questions and that was their answer.
They know my passion for Main Street. I genuinely believe that together, we make a difference in people’s
lives, how we interact as a community, and how we shop and dine. All of this is investing in what matters:
COMMUNITY.

Pictured Above: Downtown Lebanon during their Downtown Now Event.

I’m filled with gratitude for all the fantastic people volunteering, owning and operating small businesses in
Main Street communities, revitalizing historic buildings so their story’s continues to be alive and told, all our
Main Street organizations working tirelessly to make their community successful, for all those that served the community with all the incredible Hallmark “movie” moments that just adorned our Main Streets through the
holidays, the sparkling lights, parades, tree lightings, Santa visits, and the list can go on and on. These things
just don’t happen independently; they are planned and developed by individuals with a heart for the
community. I thank each of you for making such a difference in people’s lives through serving in your
community so that many can enjoy and experience such wonder.

Pictured Above: Old Town Cape volunteers.

It’s time again for a three-year strategic plan to be developed by MMSC. With that, comes time to reflect of
what went well, what needs to be improved, the goals met, and a look forward to dream new big dreams for
our network of communities we serve along with all the new communities and individuals we hope to assist in
the future. 2024 will be another exciting year for us, and this excitement comes with having an incredible
MMSC team, a team that takes their work very personally and has the same passion for Main Street as many of us, and a dedicated board of directors that knows how to strategize and build on the successes of the past
seventeen years. I look forward to 2024 and all the possibilities it has for us all.

Pictured Above: Downtown Lee’s Summit staff during Small Business Saturday.

As I close, I have one thing to ask of you. Will you join me in being a very intentional community supporter this
year, by making it one of your New Year commitments or resolutions this year?
Please join me in thinking about each purchase we make and every time we dine out. Let’s be intentional; let it
not be about convenience but about serving and preserving our community. Our communities need all of us to
be very deliberate this year; we need to continue to see those Hallmark moments in our downtowns and
districts. As we continue to see the rise of people shopping big box stores, including extensive online retailers,
and eating out at big franchises, let’s all do our part in thinking shop small first and eating local. Let’s continue to have vibrant communities across Missouri, together we can strengthen and preserve our Main Street
businesses and have a lot of fun experiences along the way.

May the coming year bring you success, happiness, and many beautiful moments in Main Street.

Thank you sincerely for being on this journey with me, Gayla.

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