Main Street Initiative
The Main Street movement has transformed the way communities think about the revitalization
and management of their commercial districts.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is a community-driven, comprehensive strategy
used to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts throughout the United
States. It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that challenge
traditional business districts.
a unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the
foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging
local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and
The four points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort.
involves getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program. A governing board and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of the volunteer-driven program. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director as well. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
sells a positive image of the commercial district and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district. By marketing a district's unique characteristics to residents, investors, business owners, and visitors, an effective promotional strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns carried out by local volunteers. These activities improve consumer and investor confidence in the district and encourage commercial activity and investment in the
means getting Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets — such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets — is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere, created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its
economic base. The Main Street program helps sharpen the competitiveness of
existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new
economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today's
consumers' needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into
economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the
Coincidentally, the four points of the Main Street approach correspond with the four forces of real estate value, which are social, political, physical, and economic.