QUINCY, IL- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn visited Quincy to salute the Historic Quincy Business District on their recent Main Street initiatives that support downtown revitalization and helped the community to win three coveted Lieutenant Governor Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization.
“The Illinois Main Street program has had a profound impact on boosting the local economy of Quincy,” said Quinn. “When John Wood founded the community of Quincy in 1818, little did he know that it would grow to become the bustling Gem City of the Mississippi Valley that it is today.”
One of the many ways that Quincy has ignited tourism, explained Quinn, is by promoting eagle-watching in their community. Many endangered bald eagles establish their winter home in the trees of Quincy every year, along Lock and Dam 21, south of Quincy on Gardner Expressway. Illinoisans have been able to view up to 200 eagles feeding in the open water of the locks during the winter months of December through February.
“Illinois is home to the largest population of wintering eagles and our state can reap the massive benefits of nature-based tourism dollars,” said Quinn. He will encourage Illinois citizens to urge their state legislators to pass a resolution commemorating the fourth Saturday of every January as “Bald Eagle Day” in Illinois. Historically, the fourth Saturday of January has been among the most active weekend for eagles to be seen and can be a booming tourism day for families, school children and eagle enthusiasts.
Quinn also congratulated the Historic Quincy Business District for winning three 2003 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization at the annual Main Street state conference in October 2003. Quincy won the Community Education Effort award for its “In the District” newspaper insert; Best Business Retention Activity award for Quincy’s economic restructuring committee business visits; and the Best Holiday Event award for its “Candlelight, Champagne and Deer in the District” event.
Joining Quinn at the press conference in the recently renovated building that now houses Rokusek Design and Upstage Advertising studio, was Main Street leaders and board members. Quinn presented Historic Quincy Business District volunteers with five-year service pins and praise them for their dedication to the Main Street program.
"Main Street is ideal for a community such as Quincy," Quinn said, noting Quincy’s rich history and cultural heritage. "Main Street helps communities appreciate the treasures in their midst, and fosters a spirit of volunteerism, a sense of place and a new civic pride."
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office administers the Illinois Main Street program that offers communities help with downtown improvements, historic preservation and economic development. Over the past decade, the Main Street program has grown from nine towns to include 56 communities across Illinois.
Illinois Main Street represents one of the state's most effective public-private partnerships for economic development and community renewal. Since its inception, designated communities have reported net gains of more than 1,300 new downtown businesses, and created 2,892 full-time jobs and 2,053 part-time jobs. Main Street projects have spurred more than $103 million in public improvements and more than $315 million in private reinvestments in their downtowns.