One of the great parts of the Illinois Main Street Conference is the annual awards gala. It’s a chance to recognize the accomplishments of local programs, and for those of us lucky enough to have these jobs, it’s an opportunity to see some great projects that may be useful in your own community. This year’s awards gala was no exception.
There are some great projects from across Illinois that we are watching and learning from, and hope to bring to Quincy soon. The Chicagoland area has some great Main Street Communities and are doing some wonderful things. Ed Bannon in Six Corners and Joi Cuartero in Batavia are two of my peers who I constantly learn from and always have great projects receiving awards!
Quincy was fortunate to receive two honors at this year’s event. If you saw our post last week, you know that the Historic Quincy Business District was presented the 2013 Illinois Main Street Outstanding Innovation Award. Austin Properties was also recognized as the 2013 Illinois Main Street Outstanding Property Owner of the Year.
Let me start with the HQBD Recognition. This was the first year for this category and we are very pleased and proud to receive the honor. The project which was awarded was the ShopDowntownQuincy.com e-commerce site. This site is a unique take on e-commerce and truly an innovation for Main Street Communities. The costs to build a fully functional e-commerce site are high. We were able to develop a site that provides our members the opportunity to get their own fully-functional site at a fraction of the cost while being in our framework. This also gets their business exposure from people doing shopping on other stores sites. The site is user-friendly and has proven to be a success for our district. Having partners such as the Great River Economic Development Foundation and Rokusek Design made this project possible. We are very thankful for their assistance and their expertise in developing this one-of-a-kind project. On a personal level this is incredibly gratifying and humbling. I hope that everyone gets an opportunity in their lifetime to have an idea come to life such as this. I will forever be thankful to our partners who made it possible and very proud of the end result.
As for Austin Properties, the accolades could be endless. We are so very fortunate to call them partners in our downtown revitalization and very grateful for their efforts not just in building restoration, but with our organization and several others as well. This was also the first year for the Outstanding Property Owner Award, so they had the entire State to select from. I think that speaks volumes about the Austin’s that they would be the inaugural recipient of this award. They are wonderful property owners whose tenants absolutely rave about them. They are generous with their time and talents and they have truly made a difference in the Quincy community. For that, and many other reasons, Mayor Moore and Glenda Hackemack (Director of Administrative Service) proclaimed that today is Austin Properties Day in the City of Quincy! I hope that everyone takes a moment to congratulate them and recognize them for their amazing work.
At this mornings event, we also presented the Austin’s with an awesome cake done by Krazy Cakes Bakery featuring several of the Austin’s Properties.
Our most sincere thanks and congratulations to Austin Properties for a much deserved accomplishment.
-Travis Brown, Executive Director