In 1985 Independence was chosen to become one of the first five communities in Kansas to be in the Main Street Program. Today there are 23 communities in the state with an active Main Street Program.

Since 1986 more than $20 million has been reinvested in downtown Independence through building and facade rehabilitation, mroe than 200 jobs have been added through the opening and/or expansion of businesses, and five buildings have been placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.