Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our 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.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our 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.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
People sit outside at a corner cafe in downtown Camas, Washington.

Camas, Washington © Downtown Camas Association

Becoming a Main Street America Designated Community

Main Street America offers two tiers of national designation: Accredited and Affiliate. Learn about the process below. 

Accredited Status

Accredited status is our top tier of recognition. Main Street America Accredited™ programs have a proven track record of planning, implementing, and measuring results that align with the Main Street Approach. Accredited programs must meet the set of baseline requirements and demonstrate success in each of the six Accreditation Standards.

How to become Accredited: 

In states or regions that have existing Coordinating Programs, communities work with their Coordinating Program to meet the performance standards above including an annual Community Self-Assessment, an onsite Community Progress visit, and required reporting. Coordinating Programs evaluate, select, and recommend Accredited programs to Main Street America annually. In areas where there is no Coordinating Program, MSA may accredit communities that have retained the necessary training and evaluation services needed to meet Accreditation Standards – contact us to learn more.

Affiliate Status

Main Street America Affiliates™ are programs or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the Main Street model and are on the pathway to achieving meaningful economic, social, physical and organizational improvements in their downtown or commercial districts. Main Street America Affiliates to not have to meet the six Community Evaluation Standards or baseline requirements, but they should commit to: 

1. Broadly engaging community stakeholders in the revitalization process; 

2. Working with stakeholders to identify a unified vision for success for community or district and appropriate success indicators; 

3. Developing diversified and sustainable funding sources to support your efforts; 

4. Participating in available training, professional development, and networking opportunities to strengthen leadership capacity and deepen knowledge of the Main Street Approach and community revitalization field; and

5. Maintaining membership with Main Street America.

These programs are eligible to become Accredited when they meet the necessary performance standards. They may also remain Affiliates if they do not have the capacity or are otherwise ineligible for Accredited status. 

How to become an Affiliate: 

In states or regions that have existing Coordinating Programs, communities work with their Coordinating Program to learn and implement the Main Street Approach, build capacity, and meet requirements for Affiliate status which includes an annual Community Self-Assessment. Coordinating Programs select and recommend Affiliates to Main Street America annually. MSA may also independently designate Affiliates in areas where there is no Coordinating Program.


Baseline Requirements

A set of indicators is required as important foundational starting points for a program to qualify for Accreditation. 

The Baseline Requirements are:

  • A Board of Directors formed by a representative base of the district stakeholders and community members, dedicated to leading the district’s Main Street program.
  • Communities over 5,000 in population must employ a FTE program director. Communities under 5,000 in population must employ a 20-hour minimum per week program director.
  • Identified Transformation Strategy to direct the work of the program, based on community input and market understanding.
  • Detailed work plans aligned with the selected Transformation Strategy that outline programming across the Main Street Four Points. Work plans include: the project, expected (measurable) outcomes, specific tasks needed to accomplish the project, assignments of those tasks showing volunteer and staff responsibilities, timelines, and budgets.
  • A dedicated budget for the district’s revitalization programming and the Main Street program’s operations.
  • Demonstrated support from municipality for the Main Street program. This can include leadership participation, funding, in-kind donations, and philosophical support.
  • Reinvestment statistics reported as required by Coordinating Program (monthly, quarterly, or annually).
  • Be a member in good standing with Main Street America, and appropriately use the MSA logo and Coordinating Program logo on its website and/​or social media.

Local Programs that do not meet these baseline requirements are not eligible for Accreditation from Main Street America, though they may qualify for designation at the Affiliate level.

Aerial view of the Vulcan Statue with the city of Birmingham skyline in the background.

Vulcan Statue © Art Meripol

Main Street Now 2024

Birmingham, Alabama

Join fellow commercial district revitalization leaders from across the country for three days of insightful education sessions, unique special events, immersive mobile workshops, and memorable experiences.

Register Now!