publications page

National Main Street Center Members can explore our digital library below – featuring the most popular Main Street educational publications in an easy, searchable format.

The Main Street Approach: A Guide to Comprehensive Commercial District Transformation *NEW*

Main Streets don’t become great places again by accident. The Main Street Approach: A Guide to Comprehensive Commercial District Transformation details how to create or enhance a sustainable commercial district revitalization effort using the Main Street Approach®, with resources and guidance for new and seasoned Main Street programs alike. Beginning with the fundamentals of the Main Street Approach, and moving on to an in-depth look at Transformation Strategies, learn how your Main Street program can better align your work around district-specific strategies. Find direction on how to best structure your program to meet your needs, how to measure progress, and outline some common keys to long-term success. Check it out>

Main Street Refresh: Lessons Learned *NEW*

In order to ensure the continued success of the Main Street model in revitalizing older and historic business districts, the National Main Street Center’s signature four-point revitalization framework went through a "refresh" after four decades of use.

Main Street Refresh: Lessons Learned shares the process, key takeaways and vital updates to the Main Street Approach learned through a 12-city pilot project led by Main Street veterans and community revitalization experts in partnership with National Main Street Center staff and a network of Main Street America Coordinating Programs. Check it out>

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Revitalizing Main Street

Revitalizing Main Street provides a detailed framework for downtown growth and development. Short on theory and long on practical approaches and useful examples, this comprehensive handbook covers virtually all aspects of downtown revitalization from developing a mission statement to bringing new businesses downtown to streetscape improvements. For ease of use, the handbook is organized into four major sections which cover: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring. This comprehensive publication is required reading for all commercial district revitalization professionals. Check it out>


Board Member's Handbook

The success of your Main Street district revitalization effort depends largely on the board of director’s ability to identify and mobilize resources, build volunteer support, develop new leadership, and maintain clear focus on the district’s needs and opportunities. The Board Member's Handbook is a must-read for programs looking to understand the process of running a board, gaining public and private support, recruiting strategic members, and developing an annual work plan. Check it out>


Design Committee Handbook

The Design Committee plays an important role in shaping the public image and improving the physical landscape of your Main Street, making it an attractive place for residents, visitors, business owners, and potential investors alike. This handbook will help your Design Committee come up with a plan to capitalize on your community’s best assets, like its historic properties, as well as create an inviting atmosphere through window displays, building improvements, landscaping and more. Check it out>

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Economic Restructuring Committee Handbook

The Economic Restructuring Committee is responsible for strengthening a community’s existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. Use this handbook to support your committee in its efforts to enhance your Main Street’s competitiveness and advance long-term preservation-based economic solutions. Find great advice on how to develop new uses for traditional Main Street buildings, strengthen existing businesses and recruit new ones, encourage investment in businesses and buildings through financial incentives, and more. Check it out>


Organization Committee Handbook

The organization committee does the critical work of establishing consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups in the community that have a stake in your commercial district – no easy task! Use this handbook to guide your fundraising, volunteer recruitment and retention, program promotion and advocacy, and organizational development and come away with stronger program with long-lasting community support. Check it out>

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Promotion Committee Handbook

Promotion in every Main Street community takes a different form, but the goal is the same:  to create a positive image that will rekindle community pride, highlight your town's historic assets, and improve consumer and investor confidence in your commercial district. Our handbook will provide you with the tools you need to define your Main Street’s image, promote local businesses, host special events, and undertake successful marketing campaigns to sell the promise of Main Street to the local community and beyond. Check it out>

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Marketing an Image for Main Street

Every town has an image. Is your Main Street doing enough to shape and promote that image?  Marketing an Image is filled with practical tips and strategies to help you through the process of assessing your current assets, developing a market position, and “selling” your Main Street to shoppers, visitors, and residents. Check it out>