Main Street is a Movement

Main Street is a Movement


For more than 35 years, Main Street America has been helping to revitalize older and historic commercial districts. Over 2,000 communities across the country have been helped bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together. Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, Main Street America represents the broad diversity that makes this country so unique. 

Collectively, the Main Street Movement is the leading voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization across the country.

The Main Street Approach
The Main Street Approach is a time-tested framework for community-driven comprehensive revitalization. 

Every community and commercial district is different, with its own distinctive assets and sense of place. The Main Street Approach offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. The Main Street Approach helps communities get started revitalization, and grows with them over time.  

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.
  • Transformation Strategies are implemented through comprehensive work in four broad areas, known as the 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, including historic buildings, 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.