Main Street Approach to Recovery

The Main Street Approach to Recovery

Main Street Forward


A Proven Approach

As downtowns begin to reopen to the public, the Main Street Approach™ can serve as a powerful tool for economic recovery efforts. The Main Street Approach is a time-tested framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization that has strengthened downtowns across the country. The strategies that guide this approach are organized around four points: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization.

Below you'll find tip sheets for recovery ideas as they relate to the Four Points as well as examples of recovery activities from around the Main Street America Network. We also encourage you to check out our tip sheets for Small Business Owners and Community Leaders on how to reopen safely.

Organization - Recovery Tips and Examples

Download tip sheet here or click image to view.

Leading Main Street News. Missouri Main Street Connection put together a PDF roundup of 3 resources, 3 merchant ideas, and 3 ways to show support. This is sent to boards, chambers, volunteers, community members, etc. Learn more.

Social Entrepreneurship. Downtown Rochester in Rochester, Mich., is selling branded face masks to benefit their Road to Recovery events and promotions. Learn more.

Shop Local, Love Local. Main Street Marshfield in Wisconsin is introducing “Shop Local. Love Local” – a fundraiser and shopping movement. 75 percent will be used to provide services to local businesses and 25 percent will be invested in the nonprofit's mission to strengthen and energize the historic downtown. Learn more.

Supporting Each Other. In Deland, Florida, owners of a local business wanted to find a way to support the local business community so they are donating $5 from each sale of their DeLand T-shirt to the MainStreet DeLand Association to help the organization continue their important work. Learn more.

Promotion - Recovery Tips and Examples

Download tip sheet here or click image to view.

Downtown is Open.
Marietta Main Street in Ohio has designed signs that easily communicate how their downtown stores are open, the new hours they keep, and more. These signs are quick and easy to post on websites, store windows, and social media. Learn more.

Taste of Main Street - Takeout Challenge. Due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations Eureka's 28th annual Taste of Main Street will be a Takeout Challenge. Learn more.

Giftcard Challenge.
Canton Main Street in Georgia is partnering with the Canton Downtown Development Authority to offer a gift card matching initiative. Learn more.

Social-Distance-Friendly Dining.
Mills 50 District in Orlando, Florida, is highlighting how their local restaurants are pivoting to serve customers under new state and local orders. A recent post showcased the Black Bean Deli and the great balance they have created between décor and distance in their outdoor patio space.

Economic Vitality - Recovery Tips and Examples

Download tip sheet here or click image to view.

Resilient Businesses Grant Program.
A new initiative from Gallup Main Street in New Mexico will awarded funds to businesses within their district to assist with delivery service support, inventory assistance, rent, and adding online services. Learn more.

Oceanside Strong. MainStreet Oceanside in California will use donations to the Oceanside Strong Fund and profits from the sale of branded T-shirts and hats to establish the Keep It Local Oceanside Microgrant Program for local businesses. Learn more.

Landlord-tenant tips. Uptown Marion in Iowa created tips for landlord-tenant conversations during COVID-19. Learn more.

Rent Relief. Kendall Whittier Main Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, created a rent relief grant program to help merchants and property owners. Learn more.

Design - Recovery Tips and Examples

Download tip sheet here or click image to view.

Drive-Through Farmers Market.
In an effort to minimize contact points, offer contactless pick up opportunities, and ensure the safety of both vendors and our wonderful supportive community of customers the The Culpeper Downtown Farmers Market will operate as a DRIVE-THROUGH ONLY market. Learn more.

Open-Air Market. The Maine Department of Transportation is working out details of a plan to close Rockland Main Street in Maine to vehicular traffic next month and let businesses and restaurants utilize the roadway as an open-air market to serve customers while better adhering to social distancing standards. Learn more.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Nothing says, “Please social distance,” like The Police’s classic rock song, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” Adding a bit of humor to their safety reminders, Downtown Ferndale in Michigan, has placed signs with song lyrics all about social distancing around their downtown district.

Response and Recovery Efforts Across the Map

This map features ideas and approaches that local Main Street America programs are taking in response to the pandemic and during the recovery process. Please fill out this form if you'd like to share your community's approach with us. We also encourage you to connect with your peers via The Point, MSA's online member networking platform.