Waverly Chamber of Commerce Main Street Program Hosts Main Street America Leadership To Support Local Revitalization Efforts

posted in Chamber of Commerce on November 1, 2023


For Immediate Release                              

Contact: Angela Gidley
Waverly Chamber of Commerce


Waverly, IA (November 1, 2023)- The Waverly Chamber of Commerce Main Street Program hosted national downtown revitalization leadership from Main Street America to help strengthen the local Main Street program. Main Street America is a national organization that seeks to revitalize downtowns through preservation-based economic development, and this visit is part of a partnership with Main Street Iowa. Jackie Swihart, Program Officer for Revitalization Services, visited Waverly, IA on Monday, October 30, 2023.

As part of the visit, Jackie toured the downtown and met with Main Street Board and committee members, as well as local elected officials. She also enjoyed a tour of the Waverly Palace Theater project to see the current progress there and visited the 123 East Bremer upper story space which recently applied for a challenge grant through Main Street Iowa. The afternoon educational session was full of resourceful information and great discussion around downtown revitalization. The Chamber Main Street Board is thankful to Jackie and our city partners who participated during her visit.

The purpose of the Main Street America Accreditation Visit is to give the local Main Street Board of Directors, Main Street staff, and other community partners an opportunity to celebrate the progress and accomplishments of the past year; show off the great work of the local Main Street program to the national Main Street program, engage local community leadership with a national Main Street representative, learn about national Main Street revitalization trends occurring throughout the country, and gather tips to improve the local Main Street program’s effectiveness.

The Waverly Chamber of Commerce Main Street Program has been an accredited Main Street America program since 1989. The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Iowa, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs which meet 6 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively revitalizing historic buildings.

“The ability for a local Main Street program to consistently incorporate fresh ideas and new leadership perspectives into the revitalization process helps ensure a vibrant future for the community’s economic opportunities,” comment Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “This visit focused on partnerships and enhancing local communication that are the foundation for a strong local development effort.”



Founded in 1937, the Waverly Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer-driven organization that today encompasses all functions of a Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Program, and Tourism. The organization’s success is made possible through the financial commitment and tireless dedication of hundreds of businesses and individuals working to strengthen the economic vitality and standard of living throughout the Waverly area. The Waverly Chamber of Commerce is a long-standing member of the US Chamber of Commerce and since 1989 the Waverly Main Street Program has been nationally accredited with Main Street America.


Main Street Iowa is a program of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center. Main Street Iowa exists to improve the social and economic well-being of Iowa’s communities by assisting selected communities to capitalize on the unique identity, assets and character of their historic commercial district. Main Street is economic development within the context of historic preservation. In addition to a revitalization framework, Main Street Iowa also provides technical assistance services to communities who made the revitalization of their downtown or traditional commercial district an economic development priority. As one of 54 designated Main Street Iowa programs, your community can take advantage of a variety of training, leadership development and technical assistance opportunities to designated Main Street programs to build the capacity of the local revitalization effort. For more information, visit https://www.iowaeda.com/main-street-iowa/.


Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $101 billion in new public and private investment, generated 746,897 net new jobs and 168,693 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 325,119 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit www.mainstreet.org.

Welcome to Waverly. Great schools. Diverse housing options. Robust job market. Top-flight indoor rec center. Outdoor recreation adventures of all kinds. Prestigious Wartburg College. And a safe and welcoming community of people who value the good life in a beautiful place.