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News Release
Albany, Corvallis, McMinnville Receive Excellence on Main Awards - 10/07/21

SALEM — Oregon Main Street announced its 2021 “Excellence on Main” award winners today and released videos of all the recipients. A total of twenty-one businesses, projects, partners, and people were recognized. Five of those recognized were from Albany, Corvallis, and McMinnville based on nominations submitted by the Albany Downtown Association, Downtown Corvallis Association, and McMinnville Downtown Association. You can view the videos of the award winners here

Albany

  • One of two Business Heroes awards went to Shawna Turkins-Dugger and husband Chris Dugger, owners of Homegrown Oregon Foods. They got their start selling jams and salsa at local fairs and events and evolved their business over the past 6 years into a restaurant, ready to eat meal prep service, catering, and a full line of cultured foods. They took COVID in stride offering curbside and outside dining, as well as home-delivered meals. They also looked for ways to help their neighbors. While some might look at it as competition, Homegrown Oregon Foods instead encouraged Pono Bowl Co., a vintage food trailer, to grow their business and allowed them to operate from their parking lot. They also promote BIPOC food-based businesses during national celebrations and formed a non-profit organization, It’s On Us - Albany, along with volunteer Jan Volz, dedicated to supporting locally-owned restaurants and offering local Albany residents a free meal provided by private donors. Their ability to survive and thrive while bringing others along with them is remarkable. The other recipient in this category was Lionheart Coffee in Beaverton.
  • Volunteers on Main – Matt Wadlington was one of six volunteers recognized for his volunteer efforts. Matt is on Albany Downtown Association’s board and serves as the Design Committee chair. Matt has been instrumental in all aspects of the hanging flower basket, including developing a fundraiser when there was a reduction in TLT funding due to Covid, hanging the baskets, and even taking down the baskets with his arm in a sling. Matt and the Design Committee also developed the Mother's Day Flower Sign fundraiser with a goal to sell 30 flower signs.  When they exceeded that goal and sold 100 signs, Matt and a small group gladly took it in stride and managed to hang all the flowers in an evening. Not only does Matt actively participate, but he encourages his staff and family members to get involved. It's hard to catch Matt on camera but his leadership and physical accomplishments are evident every season throughout Downtown.

Corvallis

  • Outstanding Civic Project went to the Corvallis Museum. The Benton County Historic Society made a leap of faith in 1999 to purchase for $1 million a former lumberyard as the site for a future museum in the heart of downtown. Over 700 people have financially contributed to the project. After a statewide search, Allied Works was selected to design the new museum. Located opposite a 125-year-old general store and the former territorial capital of Oregon, the 19,000 s.f. museum is a contemporary presence that respectfully complements its neighbors through massing, material, and detail. The lessons learned were that hard work and determination pay off. The long-range dream of the Benton County Historic Society became a reality that benefits the current and future residents of a community.

McMinnville

  • Outstanding New Building went to First Federal’s new Headquarter building in downtown McMinnville. First Federal has operated out of several buildings along Third Street in Historic Downtown McMinnville since their founding in 1922. The site for the new building serves as the gateway to Historic Third Street from the West and is the first building constructed on this end of downtown in 45 years. The new building is within the Historic Downtown District and the architecture needed to complement, but not duplicate, the historic style with both design and materials. First Federal made it a priority to use as many local subcontractors as possible on this project. Additionally, the activity downtown allowed many local food establishments to continue serving to-go meals to the folks working on the project. The landscape of McMinnville has changed drastically since First Federal first opened its doors on Third Street, but First Federal has remained at the gateway to downtown and has grown along with the city.
  • Creative Placemaking went to the McMinnville Dine Out(Side) project. In an effort to save McMinnville's thriving food and beverage industry, a cooperative effort was spearheaded by the McMinnville Downtown Association to allow restaurants and tasting rooms to "spill out" onto 3rd Street creating an outdoor living room for dining. Four contiguous blocks were closed Friday-Sunday allowing participating establishments to serve customers during the critical months of the pandemic shutdown. Approximately 22 establishments filled the street for 12 weeks creating a festive and safe eating and drinking experience. Working in conjunction with the OLCC, City of McMinnville, and Yamhill County Public Health, this cooperative effort illustrated what could be accomplished when entities work together to react to an adverse situation. All 22 restaurants and tasting rooms remain in business and a survey of participants found that sales equaled or exceeded business from previous summer season. Success was so great that the initiative has now been embraced as an annual celebration of dining outside.

Oregon Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards were created in 2010 to recognize the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Oregon’s historic downtowns and traditional commercial neighborhoods. 13 other towns in Oregon were honored with awards this year. 

 “2020 was a particularly challenging year on Main Street,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street.  “Our main street communities demonstrated amazing resiliency, working tirelessly to support, encourage, and nurture the people, businesses, and property owners in their communities. These awards recognize the outstanding efforts of local programs in creating and supporting projects and activities that exemplify Oregon Main Street’s mission to build equitable, livable, and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy while maintaining a sense of place.”

The wide range of awards is reflective of the comprehensive Main Street Approach™ to downtown revitalization developed by the National Main Street Center. This model is used by the communities participating in the three-tier Main Street Track of Oregon Main Street Network. From 2010 to 2020, communities participating in the Performing Main Street and Transforming Downtown levels – the top two tiers – have seen $125 million in private building improvement projects, $124.6 million in public projects, 1,347 private rehab projects, 639 net new businesses, 163 business expansions, 126 business acquisitions, and 3,961 net new jobs. In addition, 250,348 hours of volunteer time has been contributed to local main street organizations in the top tiers.

Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information, visit www.oregonmainstreet.org.

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