The Main Street Four Point Approach®

National Trust Main Street Center (NTMSC) and Minnesota Main Street promote a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization based on four key points. All Minnesota Main Street member programs are required to incorporate these four principles in their program’s purpose:

Organization involves building a strong local Main Street network that includes local residents, business and property owners, bankers, public officials, chambers of commerce, and other local economic development organizations. Everyone must pool their resources and expertise and work together to renew downtown. Strong organization provides the unity and stability to build and maintain a long-term revitalization effort.

Promotion raises awareness and creates excitement downtown. Street festivals, parades, retail events, and image development campaigns are some of the ways Main Street communities promote themselves to attract visitors and encourage customer traffic. Promotion involves marketing an appealing image both inside and outside the immediate community.

Design addresses the physical environment of a Main Street district. Creative reuse of space, renovation and rehabilitation of historic buildings, street and alley clean-up, landscaping, lighting and other planning and beautification projects all improve the physical image of the Main Street district as a quality place to shop, work, walk, invest, and live. Design improvements also lead to the reinvestment of public and private dollars in the district.

Economic Restructuring involves analyzing current market forces to develop long-term economic solutions. Recruiting new businesses, converting vacant and underused space for new purposes, and boosting the competitiveness of the Main Street district’s traditional merchants are just a few examples of economic restructuring activities.

Some programs, especially those in urban communities, have adopted an unofficial fifth point:

Public Safety means reducing crime and the perception of crime to create a safe, welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

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