Main Street America™ Tier System

MSALOGO_TAGThe Main Street America™ network consists of well over 1,000 community based organizations and 45 city, state, and regional Coordinating Programs working together to create vibrant, people-centered places to live, work, and play. United by a commitment to revitalizing historic downtowns and commercial districts, Main Street America™ communities represent the great diversity this country has to offer, from small rural towns to busy urban corridors, and everything in between. 

Being a Main Street America™ member is a mark of distinction, and represents a commitment to continual improvement, community engagement, and rigorous outcome measurement. The status that comes with being a part of this network also sends a strong message to local stakeholders, as well as city, state, and national funders. It signifies that you are part of a greater movement that has a proven track record for generating impressive economic returns for the economy, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Standard and Allied Memberships are also available.

Interested in being a part of the growing Main Street America™ movement? Find out where you fit below.

Have questions? Contact us at

Getting Started

To get started, register your community by becoming a member of the National Main Street Center here. Membership gives you access to a wide range of tools, training materials, discounts, funding opportunities, and an invaluable network that will get you on the path to recognition as a Main Street America™ community.

Once you are a member, you are eligible to become a designated Main Street America™ community! If you are currently a designated or accredited by a Coordinating Program, your Coordinator will work with you to determine which tier is right for you. Not currently part of a Coordinating Program? Contact us to get started. 

Main Street America™ will ultimately consist of 3 tiers: Affiliate, Accredited, and Premier* (this top tier will be introduced in 2017). You can read more about the different tiers and eligibility requirements below. 

Please note that becoming a Main Street America recognized community does not give you access to benefits, services, or training from your local Coordinating Program. To find your Coordinating Program click here.


Main Street America Affiliate™ members (formerly called Designated members) are programs or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the comprehensive community revitalization and are on the pathway to achieving meaningful economic, social, physical and organizational improvements in their downtown or commercial districts. Main Street America Affiliates commit to:

Broadly engaging community stakeholders in the revitalization process;

Working with stakeholders to identify a unified vision for success for community or district and appropriate success indicators;

Developing diversified and sustainable funding sources to support your efforts;

Participating in available training, professional development, and networking opportunities to strengthen leadership capacity and deepen knowledge of the Main Street Approach and community revitalization field; 

Maintaining membership with the National Main Street Center.  

Affiliate status is for programs, districts, or communities that are interested in learning more about the Main Street model and would like to tap into the national network’s strategies and resources, as well as for those who do not have the capacity, or who are not eligible for higher levels of Main Street America designation. 

In states or regions that have existing Coordinating Programs, Affiliate communities will be selected by their Coordinating Program or NMSC in consultation with existing Coordinating Program. NMSC may also independently designate Affiliates in areas where there is no Coordinating Program. Interested communities or programs must sign a letter of commitment. Affiliate level membership lasts for one year. 


Being a Main Street America Accredited™ community is a mark of distinction that signifies commitment to comprehensive revitalization, community engagement, and rigorous outcome measurement. These are programs or organizations that have a proven track record of success in planning, implementing, and measuring results that align with the Main Street Approach and have met a series of rigorous accreditation standards.

Accredited programs are selected by the local Coordinating Program or by NMSC in regions where there is no Coordinating Program using a set of accreditation standards. In exceptional circumstances, and where there’s alignment with the relevant Coordinating Program, NMSC may designate Accredited programs in states or regions where there is an existing Coordinating Program.


Main Street America™ Premier communities are those select communities that have been recognized as leading examples of Main Street-style community transformation and are able to demonstrate considerable economic return on investment. Details on the Premier level will be coming soon.

Main Street America™ | The Movement | The Programs | The Main Street Approach