on Thursday, May 12, 2016
Every year, Community Main Street takes a moment to reflect on the previous year, celebrating past accomplishments, welcoming new businesses and recognizing volunteer efforts at our Annual Board Meeting in May.
Undoubtedly, 2015 was another prosperous year for downtown Cedar Falls! Every month Community Main Street tracks key indicators to report to Main Street Iowa, and the 2015 numbers are impressive. This past year, 38 building improvement projects occurred in the district. Including new construction, the investment on those projects was over 6.5 million private dollars. In 2015, four properties turned over with $1,614,500 going toward property acquisition. Another sign of growth and prosperity was the 20 businesses that opened or expanded, adding new 66 full time equivalent jobs in the district.
And let's not forget the efforts of all of our amazing volunteers! Every year, volunteers work hours on end trying to help downtown Cedar Falls to grow and to be a focal point in the Cedar Valley. They work endlessly, planning and executing events throughout the year and also maintaining the beauty and reputation of downtown Cedar Falls. During 2015, volunteers donated 6,066 hours of their time toward CMS initiatives. According to the Independent Sector, the value of those hours is just under $135,000. The efforts of our volunteers provide a significant savings for our community. Every single volunteer is extremely important to CMS and without each and every one of them, the great events and improvements that have happened throughout the years would not be possible. As a special thank you each year, Community Main Street recognizes a volunteer or couple that has gone above and beyond in their volunteer efforts. This year, Community Main Street is pleased to announce the 2015 Volunteers of the Year, Andy & Julie Shimek.
Rarely will you find a couple as committed to downtown revitalization as Andy and Julie. For the past 20 years, they have never hesitated to help when needed, jump in with something new, or to lead the charge. At the forefront of the downtown living trend, their home is a stunning example of quality downtown living. Julie has served on the Board of Directors, Design and Retail Promotions Committees, as well as many sub-committees. When Julie dreams up an idea, Andy builds it. One wonders how they have time to run their two downtown businesses!
Community Main Street recognizes and thanks Julie and Andy Shimek, as well as countless other downtown volunteers, for giving their time and talents to improve the downtown district of Cedar Falls.
If you think the stats for 2015 are impressive, wait until you see our 2016 stats! We're already building, expanding and volunteering our hearts out to ensure our downtown community remains a vibrant place where good friends meet!