A Message of Hope

In thousands of towns and cities, small and large, across the nation today, a search is under way . . . a search for a sense of community.

After decades of living cheek-by-jowl with suburban sprawl, shopping in faceless malls and watching countryside disappear under cookie-cutter office parks, Americans are questioning the price of "progress." We've learned the hard way that "more" and "new" don't always mean "better." We yearn for the pride and purpose our parents and grandparents found in belonging to a real community. And we know that if our children are to inherit a legacy worth cherishing, we need to take the future into our own hands-now.

How do we help our downtown map out a prosperous future by breathing new economic life into our neglected commercial district. Communities of all sizes have learned, one step at a time, to combine thoughtful historic preservation with sound financial planning to turn deserted streets and old buildings into lively districts of thriving shops, theaters and residences. Today, these refurbished downtown reflect a newfound pride in the past and inspire fresh hope for the future.

A Formula for Success. . .
Your Success

Rather than tearing down old buildings and starting from scratch, the future of your commercial district lies in making the most of its past. Recognize and reclaim the architectural gems that once made your downtown a source of community pride and that can once more, give it a distinct marketing edge. Learn how to build public-private financial partnerships and develop a comprehensive, implementation-oriented revitalization plan that emphasizes quality and self-help.

Learn the Four-Point Approach to commercial revitalization which provides a proven foundation for success. Adopted by communities in more than 30 states, this process has generated nearly $3 billion in physical improvements, 20,389 net new businesses and 64,402 net new jobs since 1980. Nationally, every dollar invested in the operation of a local Main Street program has leveraged $22.10 of public and private investment in physical improvements, making the Four-Point Approach one of the most successful economic strategies ever.

The basics to start a program:

· Build a community-wide organization to support your revitalization initiative

· Learn how to select and use graphics, events and publications to effectively promote your commercial district

· Understand the important role of design in successful downtown revitalization

· Develop an economic restructuring plan to create a long-term, prosperous mix of businesses and other enterprises for your Main Street

Learning the Revitalization ABC's:

Tap into things that can get you started and decide what you want to achieve through publications, videos and seminars. Work through every step of the way to reach your short- and long-term goals.