The Movement

The Main Street Movement

Collectively, the Main Street movement is the leading voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization across the country.

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We believe that everyone deserves access to a vibrant neighborhood – a place that has a thriving local economy, is rich in character, and features inviting public spaces that make residents and visitors feel that they belong. Yet, we know that many Americans, whether in small towns or big cities, miss out on these benefits. Our collective mission is to make this right.

A Grassroots Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique. Working together, the Main Street America Network helps to breathe new life into the places people call home.

The Heart of Communities

The Main Street movement grew out of a recognition that a community is only as strong as its core. In an era when many people had given up hope about the commercial and cultural viability of downtown, and when suburbs, shopping malls, and big box retailers were dominating the American landscape, this seemed like an unlikely proposition. But, over the last four decades, the Main Street movement has proven that downtowns are the heart of our communities, and that a community is only as strong as its core.

A Movement of Community Changemakers

Main Street empowers communities to set their own destinies. While revitalization is challenging work, the Main Street program offers a road-map for locally-owned, locally-driven prosperity. Across the country, thousands of communities have used the Main Street Approach to transform their economies, leverage local leadership, and improve overall quality of life.

Downtowns Matter

Downtown is important because it’s the heart and soul of any community. If you don’t have a healthy downtown, you simply don’t have a healthy town.


- Ed McMahon
Chair, National Main Street Center Board of Directors

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The Approach

The Main Street Approach is a time-tested framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization.

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The Programs

Main Street America consists of over 1,000 designated programs helping to improve local economies and enhance quality of life across the country.

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Main Street Impact

Dollar for dollar, Main Street has proven itself to be one of the most impactful, cost-effective community revitalization models in the country.

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