Main Street in America and in Iowa

Main Street America

The National Main Street Center leads a movement committed to strengthening communities through preservation-based economic development in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. We believe Main Streets are for everyone.

At the core of our approach to revitalization are a commitment to creating places of shared prosperity, equal access to opportunity, and inclusive engagement. The National Main Street Center models and champions this vision through our actions and programs.

Vision: Everyone has access to an inclusive and resilient Main Street - a place that has a thriving local economy, is distinctive and rich in character and features welcoming spaces and diverse businesses for residents and visitors alike.​

Mission: Main Street America leads a collaborative movement with partners and grassroots leaders that advance shared prosperity, create resilient economies, and improves the quality of life through place-based economic development and community preservation in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts across the country.

Main Street Iowa

The Main Street Iowa program works with a select group of communities that successfully complete a competitive application process and commit to exceptionally high standards for downtown economic development. As a Main Street America Coordinating Program, over 50 communities in Iowa are connected to a network of 40 programs across the country representing over 1,200 communities.

Utilizing the Main Street Approach, communities capitalize on the unique identity, assets, and character of their historic commercial districts. The Main Street Approach consists of tightly integrated components making up a common-sense, strategy-driven framework that guides community-based downtown revitalization efforts. Locally developed strategies are implemented through comprehensive work in four broad areas, known as the Four Points:

  • Economic Vitality
  • Organization
  • Promotion
  • Design

Assistance from the Main Street Iowa team includes training workshops, architectural and design assistance, business assistance, and a number of other technical assistance opportunities.