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Welcome to the National Main Street Center, Inc.

The National Main Street Center is a national organization committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization. Through education, outreach, hands-on training, online resources, facilitating connections and conferences, we inspire and enable leaders across the country to build strong communities. For the past 35 years, the National Main Street Center has equipped more than 2,000 communities with an organizing framework to preserve and revitalize their traditional downtowns and commercial districts.

By using the Main Street Four Point Approach®, the affiliated Main Street organizations that make up the Main Street Network have rehabbed more than 251,000 buildings, produced $61.7 billion in investment, and created 528,557 jobs, (see more on our reinvestment statistics). Building on this successful foundation, the National Main Street Center is committed to expanding the impact of the Main Street program by providing a new generation of research and resources to existing Main Street programs and extending our reach to other commercial districts that are not yet part of the Main Street Network.

We invite you to explore and utilize the reorganized mainstreet.org as a tool to support your work revitalizing our historic downtowns, cities, and neighborhood business districts.

Not a member yet? Learn more and join today.

Webinar: Why Aren't You Asking for Year-End Gifts?

Your Main Street organization could be raising up to 40% of its donations during the last six weeks of the year through an effective year-end appeal. Join us for a webinar Thursday, September 17, 1:00-2:00 pm CT, led by Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting, Inc., that will give you all the tools you need to implement a year-end campaign using both traditional and social media, and show you how to seek support for the general operations of your Main Street. This fast-paced webinar will outline a simple ten-step process to implement a campaign mid-November through December 31, teach you how to create a realistic fundraising goal, prepare your website for online donations, and much, much more. Participants will also receive an extensive resource packet of materials, including presentation handouts, articles, and an updated 2015 work plan calendar. Register today!

milwaukee-proposal-thumb2016 National Main Streets Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2016 National Main Streets Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 23-25! The conference will bring together doers, makers and innovators to address challenges facing 21st century downtowns and commercial districts, while building on collective insights into opportunities on the horizon. Together 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. Join us in May to learn about topics ranging from creating measurable economic impact, to placemaking, the arts, and everything in between. Learn more about our annual conference here!

mainstreetnowthumb_summer2015Summer Edition of Main Street Now

This special awards issue is dedicated to the 2015 Great American Main Street Award winners – Cape Girardeau, Mo., Montclair, N.J., and Rawlins, Wyo. Each of the communities, though diverse in size and geography, show that Main Streets are hotbeds for innovation and creativity. In this issue we also recognize the winners of the first-ever “Innovation on Main Street” awards, Main Street New Jersey, Shaw Main Streets and Winnsboro Main Street, for their sustainable initiatives that represent new approaches to existing downtown revitalization challenges and opportunities. Finally, we celebrate Fond du Lac, Wisc., named a 2015 “One to Watch” community, and provide tips and tools on how to host a successful Small Business Saturday event in your community. Check it out.

Small Box – A Creative Retail Project

Main Street communities across the country are no stranger to seeking creative strategies to solve their most nagging issues. Thomas Starinsky with the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, explains how his organization tackled the issue of bolstering retail in the Warehouse District using an unlikely tool: shipping containers. With only 160 square feet space each, shipping containers can still offer big solutions. They can provide a lower rent opportunity for local small businesses, create an instant critical mass of retail, and can even be arranged to mask large voids in the neighborhood where historic buildings once stood. Read about the successful Small Box retail project here.