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Act Now! Advocate for the Main Street Movement

September 13, 2021 | Act Now! Advocate for the Main Street Movement |

Over the past several months, Congress and the Biden Administration have been working toward the passage of two infrastructure packages, which may have a profound effect on development priorities for our communities over the next five years. As the second infrastructure bill takes shape, Main Street America is advocating for the utility of infrastructure programs for Main Street programs and projects that are important to our communities. Read on for key steps to take today to advocate for Main Street.

After the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March, attention shifted in two directions: the implementation of ARPA and the potential for new infrastructure investment. The latter has resulted in two bills: the first, a $1 trillion bill focused on traditional or “hard” infrastructure and a second, a $3.5 trillion bill which includes a broader, “human” definition of infrastructure including workforce development, childcare, and housing. While the road ahead for both bills is dependent on political factors, these packages could be passed by early this fall.

The $1 trillion hard infrastructure bill is the product of bipartisan negotiation and expands, revises, and creates programs aimed at improving critical infrastructure across the country with a focus on equity and sustainability. The larger reconciliation package – proposed at $3.5 trillion – is currently in development. Congressional committees and agencies are working now to write detailed proposals for programs under the topline numbers that have been agreed upon. For Main Street, two immediate priorities have emerged.

Contained within the within the budget reconciliation bill, a $10 billion Community Revitalization Fund would invest directly in local, community-led civic infrastructure projects in underserved areas including parks, storefronts for local entrepreneurs, green spaces, and other essential spaces that foster human connections. Main Street America is supporting the Community Revitalization Fund as part of a larger coalition of national and local organizations called Percent for Place. We believe the Fund represents a key potential to reconnect with our neighbors through the shared spaces within our communities—particularly your Main Street districts. We're asking Main Street organizations to join with us by adding your organization to this sign-on by September 15.


The reconciliation package also contains a key opportunity to help preserve and rehabilitate historic properties. There is a tremendous potential to pass important enhancements to the Historic Tax Credit via the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act, including an increase to 30% for small projects and other improvements to encourage more redevelopment projects in our communities. Share your support via this form or reach out to your House or Senate offices via phone.


Since summer 2020, Main Street America has been increasing outreach and advocacy at the federal level for Main Streets. We continue to advocate for increased utility of Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding for Main Streets and business districts via a targeted advocacy push to key offices to create a specific program to fund your work. As this work moves forward, be on the lookout for further updates and information.

The large nature of the package means there are potentially many other programs that will impact Main Streets, from rural towns to urban cores. Please feel encouraged to reach out concerning your priorities and any questions or concerns about reaching out to your representatives in Congress. Thank you for advocating for Main Street!