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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.

2016 Main Street Now Conference

The 2016 Main Street Now Conference is 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 to learn about topics ranging from creating measurable economic impact, to placemaking, the arts, and everything in between. For information on registration, education sessions, events, mobile workshops and more click here.

Main Street America Institute

We are gearing up for the Main Street America Institute’s second semester of online coursework! Registration for the first course, Advanced Fundamentals of Economic Vitality II starting June 14, is open now! Plus, all the course descriptions—including dates—for the second semester are live on our website. The Main Street America Institute (MSAI) 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.

The Unexpected Place Where Americans Are Shopping

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.

Main Street Refresh Demonstration Project Sites

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, Mississippi; Detroit, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Lexington, Kentucky; Miami, Florida; Milledgeville, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; as well as Brush!, Lake City and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Read about it here.

Building Community Through Street Fairs

What ten questions should you be asking when planning a street fair? Grab your planning committee and get started on creating a planning outline for a sucessful street fair with this article by street fair guru Bridget Bayer. Read it here.

Be sure to check out her other two street fair articles about identifying community assets and fundraising.

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