By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon 66 Main Street has surpassed a $10 million “reinvestment benchmark” in its comprehensive, on-going effort to revitalize the historic Main Street district.
Yukon Main Street representatives were recognized for reaching that lofty milestone during the April 19th Yukon City Council meeting.
The $10 million represents the cumulative amount of private and public property improvements and investments made throughout Yukon’s downtown district since the Yukon Main Street program started in 2014.
This effort has been highlighted by development of property at 10 W Main, formerly Snyder’s grocery store. The site had sat vacant for years.
Yukon has been honored for reaching the $10 million reinvestment benchmark by the Oklahoma Main Street Center, under the umbrella of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
Yukon Main Street became an “associate” program in 2014 before stepping up to become a fully designated Oklahoma Main Street community in 2020.
“Yukon has achieved national accreditation by Main Street America each of the two years we have been eligible,” Yukon Main Street Director Vicki Davis said.
Meanwhile, Davis joined Yukon Main Street board members and volunteers to accept two proclamations during the Tuesday night city council meeting – for May’s observance of “Yukon Small Business Month” and “National Historic Preservation Month.”
Both proclamations were signed and presented by Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby, who serves on the Yukon Main Street board of directors.
Selby encouraged the public to support Yukon’s small businesses and entrepreneurs who help create jobs and preserve the community’s unique culture.
In fact, this country’s 30 million small businesses create nearly two of every three new jobs in the economy.
National Small Business Month has been observed annually since 1963.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our nation’s promises,” according to the Small Business Month proclamation.
“Small business owners and Main Street businesses have energy and a passion for what they do and continue the fight to overcome hardship and obstacles faced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Twenty new businesses have opened since the start of the pandemic in downtown Yukon, Selby noted.
Yukon has been recognized as a nationally accredited Main Street community for 2022 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 1973, that trust established Historic Preservation Month in May to celebrate historic places, promote tourism and acknowledge the social and economic benefits of heritage preservation.
Historic preservation is being promoted as an effective tool for Yukon and other communities across the U.S. to manage growth and sustainable development, revitalize neighborhoods, foster local pride, and maintain community character while enhancing livability.
“It is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of Yukon’s heritage that have shaped us as a people,” according to the Historic Preservation Month proclamation.
Accepting the proclamation was local author and historian Carol Mowdy Bond, a member of Yukon Main Street’s Design Point.
Mowdy Bond is coordinator of a “Yukon’s Best History” project that will spotlight historic Main Street businesses from Fourth to Seventh streets.
Eleven displays will feature historic photos and information about these downtown Yukon properties.
Individuals and groups will be encouraged to view the displays and enter weekly drawings throughout May.
Each historic display will feature a QR code to enter a contest for valuable prizes.
“To make it really enticing, we have 170 prizes – hundreds of dollars of prizes that we’re going to give away,” Mowdy Bond said.
Learn more by calling the Yukon Main Street office at (405) 350-5999 or visiting https://www.yukon66mainstreet.com/
The Yukon Main Street office, 528 W Main, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.