2019 Year in Review

Main Street Year in Review

Check out 20 ways the Main Street America movement grew stronger in 2019.

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Our Year Together

The beginning of a new decade brings excitement and anticipation but before we dive into all that 2020 will bring, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on everything we accomplished together in 2019. It was a big year for us and for the Main Street America movement nationally. So, to kick-off the beginning of this new decade, here are 20 ways that the Main Street America movement grew stronger in 2019. 

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A Strong and Growing Network

  • Membership on the Rise Supported 1,831 Main Street America members, including welcoming 238 new members into the network.
  • Making New Friends Introduced a new individual membership category, Friend of Main Street, and made 50 new “Friends” in 2019.
  • Welcome Back! Supported the relaunch of three statewide programs, California, Kansas, and New Jersey, bringing the national total of City, County, and State Coordinating Programs to 44.
  • Celebrating the Greats Surpassed 100 Great American Main Street Winners since the award was introduced in 1995, including honoring three new outstanding GAMSA winners and eight impressive semi-finalists.
  • New Team Members Welcomed 2 new staff members, Amanda Elliott and Brittanii’ Batts, and 2 new members to our Board of Directors, Chris Wilson and Gina Nisbeth.

New Resources & Thought Leadership

  • New Transpo Tools Launched a new People-First Transportation Toolkit which has been viewed nearly 7,000 times, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces.
  • People-First Design Rolled out new technical services focused on supporting revitalization professionals in their work to achieve quality, people-centered design.
  • A New Approach for Historic Preservation Made the case for Why Historic Preservation Needs a New Approach in a piece by Patrice Frey published by CityLab.
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Advanced Technical Services Offerings

  • On the Road Field services team visited over 155 communities in 34 states and territories, and 2 countries abroad (India and the United Kingdom), delivering technical assistance and sharing about the Main Street movement.
  • Cultivating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Hosted an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem workshop in Chicago for over 40 commercial district leaders and small business owners in partnership with Illinois Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton.
  • Innovation in Rural Main Streets Demonstrated innovative approaches to rural entrepreneurship in Rawlins, Wyo. and Wytheville, Va. through our participation in the Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking.

Cutting-Edge Educational Opportunities

  • Bringing Main Street Together Broke records for attendance at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle with 1,826 attendees.
  • Professional Development Milestones Supported the professional development of 189 individuals participating in the Main Street America Institute (the most ever in a single year!) and celebrated 8 Main Street America Revitalization Professional  graduates.
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Innovative Programs and Partnerships

  • Shop Small Love Teamed up with American Express to celebrate 10 years of Small Business Saturday and announced two new grant programs: The Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest and the Future of Shopping Small program.
  • Façade Facelifts Expanded our $379,872 investment in façade improvement projects in Texas, thanks to support from the 1772 Foundation, and secured an additional $682,500 for future investments in a nationwide façade improvement program.
  • Funding Placemaking Projects Raised $100,000, and leveraged an additional $80,000 in local investment, for a new façade improvement and placemaking project fund for downtown Nampa, Idaho, in honor of Kevin and Mary Daniels.
  • Expanding Opportunity in Appalachia Joined coalition to strengthen rural communities in Appalachia through Opportunity Zone investment.
  • A Partner for Preservation With the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, helped make $2 million in funding available for preservation projects on Main Streets across the country.

Expanded Outreach and Engagement

  • Growing Online Presence Exceeded 400,000 unique views on www.mainstreet.org, representing an 11% increase over 2018.
  • People Powering Main Streets Launched national We Are Main Street marketing campaign, highlighting the diverse network of Main Streeters powering our movement.
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Looking Forward

We are proud of what we’ve accomplished collectively in 2019 and we know the coming year will mean even more exciting growth, new programming, and major milestones for the Main Street America movement. Here’s to 2020!


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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