Emporia Main Street has built a solid foundation as a leading community and economic development entity in the region. With our Historic District creating substantial redevelopment results, and our Community Initiated Development action plan encouraging new infill development and the elimination of dilapidated properties, you can see the impact our organization makes. Through our zero interest and low interest loan programs, Emporia Main Street has loaned over $1.6 million to qualifying businesses starting up or expanding. New and growing events are defining Emporia in a positive light. The Dirty Kanza Finish Line Party, Great American Market, Welcome Back Block Party, Midnight Madness, The Glass Blown Open Players Party, Cinco de Mayo, and many new activities such as Día de los Muertos represent millions of dollars that positively impact our local economy. Programs like our Start Your Own Business Class offer new and existing businesses educational opportunities that encourage growth, resulting in almost 96 regional business startups and expansions. Our weekly electronic newsletters give businesses and organizations free marketing opportunities and access to timely information that encourages business success. We have a lot of work ahead to produce a sustainable community with the jobs, development, and economic diversity. If we were selected to be the winner of the America's Main Street Contest, Emporia Main Street would work with local building owners to revitalize an existing building in our downtown to house a co-working/distributed work force center. The creation of this space would enable entrepreneurs to launch their concepts and allow skilled employees to work remotely while living in our community. This concept would generate jobs that are higher in pay and help retain youth within the region.