By MICAH WILKINS
August 20, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce can now add the title “award winning” to its resume.
The chamber won an award for Best Economic Restructuring Project from the Missouri Main Street program for its efforts to improve Independence Avenue. The Missouri Main Street program held a conference in St. Louis last month which culminated in an awards ceremony July 31. Bobbi Baker Hughes, president of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce, along with Jon Henderson, the current Chair of the chamber, attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of the Chamber.
The conference, which included about 20 communities from across the state, focused on the importance of rebuilding main streets in historic districts.
“I’m really excited that it’s happening in so many cities throughout the U.S.,” Baker said.
The Chamber’s Independence Avenue/International Marketplace improvement initiative began with the strategic plan which included the avenue’s designation as a Community Improvement District by the Kansas City City Council. With an annual $500,000 created in special tax revenues, the Northeast CID has been able to hire security guards, the “Avenue Angels,” and the “Urban Ambassadors” to enhance the safety and cleanliness of Independence Avenue.
To coincide with the theme of the International Marketplace, the Northeast Chamber will play host to the third annual Taste and Tour, in which 20 local restaurants will feature their food at the Don Bosco Senior Center, 580 Campbell St. Baker Hughes said the event, which will also provide tours of the Northeast on trolleys, will allow people to “experience the world all in one place.” The event is currently scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6.
“The event is the first of many steps toward creating that International Marketplace,” Baker Hughes said.