A GRASSROOTS NETWORK
Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique. Working together, the Main Street America Network helps to breathe new life into the places people call home.
THE HEART OF COMMUNITIES
The Main Street movement grew out of a recognition that a community is only as strong as its core. In an era when many people had given up hope about the commercial and cultural viability of downtown, and when suburbs, shopping malls, and big box retailers were dominating the American landscape, this seemed like an unlikely proposition. But, over the last four decades, the Main Street movement has proven that downtowns are the heart of our communities, and that a community is only as strong as its core.
A MOVEMENT OF COMMUNITY CHANGEMAKERS
Main Street empowers communities to set their own destinies. While revitalization is challenging work, the Main Street program offers a road-map for locally-owned, locally-driven prosperity. Across the country, thousands of communities have used the Main Street Approach to transform their economies, leverage local leadership, and improve overall quality of life.
MAIN STREET FUNDAMENTALS
- The Main Street Approach is centered around Transformation Strategies. A Transformation Strategy articulates a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown or commercial district’s economy.
- A program’s work on Transformation Strategies should be organized around the Four Points: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization.
- A revitalization program’s work – and its Transformation Strategies – need to be informed by a solid understanding of local and regional market data, and sustained and inclusive community engagement.
THE FOUR-POINT APPROACH
Successful downtown revitalization doesn't occur due to one strategy or action. It takes targeted, concerted effort in four general categories (below). We have volunteer committees that concentrate on each of these Four Points.
ECONOMIC VITALITY focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.
DESIGN supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart.
PROMOTION positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics.
ORGANIZATION involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district.
This content was originally published on the National Main Street Center’s website, www.mainstreet.org