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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.

The 2018 Great American Main Street Awards® application is now open! Apply through July 17>>

2018 Main Street Now Conference: Call for Session Proposals

Each year, the Main Street Now Conference provides revitalization professionals from across the country the opportunity to convene and learn about the innovative methods and practices that make the Main Street Approach® the most powerful economic development tool in the nation. We are seeking high-quality education session proposals for the 2018 Main Street Now Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, March 26-28!

Submissions are accepted through August 16. Learn more and submit your proposal today!

New Video: Main Streets are the Heart of Our Communities

A new set of videos from Main Street America shows the power of Main Street’s potential: to revive local economies, bring communities together, and forge the future for cities and towns across the country. The videos feature scenes from Main Streets across the country, as well as experts and practitioners including Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and Chair of the National Main Street Center (NMSC) Board of Directors; Irvin Henderson, member of the NMSC Board of Directors; Anwar Saleem, Executive Director of H Street Main Street; and Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the NMSC.

Take a look at the teaser video and full video.

MSAIMain Street America Institute

Summer/Fall Main Street America Institute (MSAI) courses are open for registration. Join fellow Main Streeters on a professional development path. Visit the MSAI website for course dates and registration information.

The Main Street America Institute, our targeted professional development training program, equips downtown and commercial district leaders with the tools they need to lead results-oriented and preservation-based community revitalization organizations.

New Main Street Approach Publications

We are pleased to announce the release of two new publications on the refreshed Main Street Approach!

Members can log in to access The Main Street Approach: A Guide to Comprehensive Commercial District Transformation and Main Street Refresh: Lessons Learned from the Publications page.

Stay tuned for more soon!

The Reality of Main Street

A recent opinion piece by economist Louis Hyman, The Myth of Main Street, presented a bleak choice for Main Street America: persist in hopeless efforts to rebuild your downtown or graciously accept a future of telecommuting for a distant corporation. We know, of course, that this is a false choice.

The National Main Street Center and the Brookings Institution have jointly authored a response to Mr. Hyman’s piece, The Reality of Main Street, that is featured on Brookings’ blog. We encourage you to check it out, keep up the dialogue, and continue to share with us just how real your Main Street is by using the hashtag #realmainstreet.

You can also download The Reality of Main Street as a PDF to share with your local media!

State of Main

Our inaugural edition of State of Main, the annual publication of Main Street America, is available electronically!

Serving as both an annual report and an industry journal, State of Main provides a detailed look back on all that we have accomplished together this year, as well as a platform to explore cutting edge ideas and trends in the commercial district revitalization field.

Read it here.

Your 2017 GAMSA Winners

Congratulations to Renaissance Covington, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association, and West Chester Business Improvement District, the three winners of the 2017 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). The awards were presented May 1 at the 2017 Main Street Now Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“The 2017 GAMSA winners showcase the realized potential of commercial district revitalization,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Whether it’s attracting independent businesses, repurposing historic buildings or cultivating a thriving food scene, this year’s winners all understand the importance of growing communities that value historic preservation while supporting the changing shift in population and trends.” Read more.

Thank you to PNC​ Bank for their generous sponsorship of the 2017 Great American Main Street Awards.


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