Welcome to Main Street America
Over the past 35 years, the National Main Street Center has led the development of a national network of over 2,000 historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts: Main Street America™. The people who make up Main Street America are passionate advocates, dedicated volunteers, influential stakeholders, and community organizers who work every day to turn the tide in their communities—catalyzing reinvestment, creating jobs, and fostering pride of place.
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Main Street America is a program of the National Main Street Center. Learn more about the Center.
Each year, the Main Street Now Conference brings leaders in the field together to address challenges facing downtowns and commercial districts, while building on collective insights into opportunities on the horizon. This year, with the dynamic city of Pittsburgh and state of Pennsylvania as our hosts, we will focus on creating places that are economically competitive and socially connected, as well as developing leaders that can direct these efforts and pave the way for communities of the future. We are seeking proposals that address topics ranging from creating measurable economic impact, to placemaking, the arts, and everything in between. All proposals are due by midnight (CDT) on September 16, 2016. Learn more.
Dates have been confirmed for this fall’s Community Transformation Workshop! This intensive, three-day workshop will take place November 2-4, 2016, in Chicago. Participants should plan to arrive the evening of the 1st and depart the evening of the 4th. More details and registration information coming soon!
The Main Street America Institute is our targeted professional development training program aimed to equip downtown and commercial district leaders with the tools they need to lead results-oriented and preservation-based community revitalization organizations. Learn more.
In a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, Matt Wagner, NMSC Vice President of Revitalization Programs, wrote about the "the growing shift within traditional 'bricks and mortar' shopping patterns." While the news headlines focused on the drop in Black Friday spending and rise in Cyber Monday spending, Small Business Saturday spending increased by 14% from last year. Wagner credits this increase to consumer desire to “[seek] places and spaces that offer more experiential and socially engaging opportunities.” This is a big win for consumers, small businesses, and Main Street America. Read the full article.
The “refreshed” Main Street Approach is characterized by a focus on inclusive engagement, district-level strategy, meaningful outcomes, and more flexible organizational structure. As part of its beta roll-out, the National Main Street Center is conducting a series of demonstration projects—in places with existing Main Street programs, as well as districts that don’t have a traditional Main Street structure in place—providing us with the opportunity to test some of our new strategies on the ground, learn from practitioners, and refine the approach. Over the course of the next year, we are excited to have the opportunity to work in Biloxi, Miss.; Detroit, Mich.; Gary, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Miami, Fla.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Philadelphia, Pa.; as well as Brush!, Lake City and Steamboat Springs, Colo. Read about it here.
Meet the winners of the 2016 Great American Main Street Award®: Audubon Park in Orlando, Fla., Dahlonega, Ga. and Shaw District in Washington, D.C.!
“The 2016 GAMSA winners have succeeded in making their towns an exciting place to live, work, play and visit through implementing our historic preservation-based methodology for downtown revitalization,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “In each locality, the local Main Street organization has collaborated with residents, business owners and other local partners to revitalize their district by promoting the assets that makes that community special.” Read about the winners here.