Main Street Advocacy Toolkit

Main Street Advocacy Toolkit


Communicating the Power of Main Street

Every day, Main Street programs across the country reach out to a diverse cast of stakeholders to share the successes stories of commercial district revitalization and call for the policies, programs and resources that create positive impact in communities. Speaking up for Main Street involves resources from across the Four Points and strong leadership abilities.

Use this Advocacy Toolkit to enhance your efforts to communicate the power of the Main Street movement with decision-makers, from elected officials to local partners and individual supporters. Explore below, and if you have suggestions for resources to add, let us know.



Measuring Impact

Learn how to collect, assess, and communicate impact data to make the case for your program in this new guide.



Mobilizing Success

Learn about the various aspects of advocacy from getting started to mobilizing success in Chapter 8 of Revitalizing Main Street.



Building Support

Use this handbook to guide your program advocacy and come away with long-lasting community support.


Advocacy Updates

Advocacy in Focus: Online Course

Whether making a specific policy ask or maintaining sustained support, community revitalization professionals and historic preservationists need to develop and hone advocacy skills. Join this course through the Main Street America Institute and presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for an in-depth overview of five key advocacy areas, featuring expert speakers and practitioners from across the community revitalization and preservation fields.



Sample Documents

  • New Mexico Main Street FY19 Legislative Requests – The New Mexico Coalition of Main Street Communities provides support for local MainStreet organizations through program and policy development and lobbying for resources. These examples (here and here) show how the group leverages Main Street success to collectively ask for further support from the state.
  • Preservation Iowa and Iowa Main Street Communities Historic Tax Credit Letter – During the 2017 tax reform process, Main Street communities across Iowa partnered with preservation organizations to advocate to federal elected officials to retain the incentive.
  • Downtown Lee’s Summit Investor Brochure – Investor brochures can be used to help educate the public about Main Street programs and to attract investment from community supporters, including businesses and individuals, such as in this example from Downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
  • Arranging a Congressional Site Visit – Created with an eye towards historic tax credit projects, this quick guide to engaging your legislators is evergreen and applicable to a variety of Main Street priorities.


Advocacy Matters!

Educating lawmakers is talking about topics that will resonate with anyone in our country. If you're hesitant to get involved in advocacy for Main Streets, approach it from the heart.

– Ray Scriber, Director, Louisiana Main Street

Deep Dive

Take a deeper dive into the framework and application of the Main Street Approach by exploring sessions and course offerings from the Main Street Now Conference and Main Street America Institute or contacting our technical services team for customized training opportunities.

Main Street Now Conference

The Main Street Now Conference is a one-of-a-kind event where you will find solutions and techniques to help position your Main Street program and community to thrive.


Main Street America Institute

The Main Street America Institute is our targeted professional development training program aimed to equip downtown and commercial district leaders with the tools you need.


Technical Services

With decades of combined experience in the field of commercial district revitalization, our technical services team offers unparalleled support to local, city, and state-wide partners.