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Steps to Main Street Designation

Designated Community Requirements
  • Establish the Main Street Four Point Approach™ methodology as the foundation for or within the organization. Main Street is a comprehensive program for downtown revitalization and downtown business district management and requires simultaneous focus in design, promotion, economic vitality, and organization. It is not a one solution program.
  • Active board of directors & working committees
  • Ability to pay the annual program fee ($1,875) *includes the required $375 Main Street America designated community membership
  • Can be a stand alone non-profit organization or an “embedded” program (eg. a combined Chamber of Commerce/Main Street organization or a program within an economic development entity) with the caveat that the Main Street program must be acknowledged and recognized as such within the parent organization
  • Employment of full-time or part-time professional staff that either has experience in downtown revitalization or is committed to gaining experience
  • Program has a constant focus on the downtown commercial business district (is not distracted by activities that do not pertain to downtown)
  • Ability to meet all legal and financial obligations required by the State of Nebraska and the Internal Revenue Service
  • Develop and maintain a historic preservation ethic
  • Develop a work plan based on vision and market conditions
  • Provide an office for the program
  • Have a budget with funding for travel to training and an operating budget for the program
  • Maintain records, information and key statistics
  • Report required key statistics to the Nebraska Main Street Network
  • Participate in the annual year end evaluation with the Nebraska Main Street Network
  • Actively participate with the Nebraska Main Street Network while attending workshops, meetings, and conferences
  • Utilize the programs and services of the Nebraska Main Street Network
  • Have a strong commitment to the program from local government and other community organizations and stakeholders
Organizational Steps
  • Decide on your organizational structure –stand alone non-profit or embedded within another organization
  • Decide on an organizational or program name
  • Establish Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation (or revision of existing organization documents to account for the Main Street program)
  • Establish legal status in Nebraska (Sec of State) for a stand alone program or update status
  • IRS 501c tax status for a stand alone program
  • Develop policies and procedures that govern the organization legally, financially and for personnel matters
  • Secure insurance (directors and officers insurance, liability, etc.)
  • Set up a budget for the program and determine where you will obtain operational funding
  • Establish accounting practices including an annual audit
Other Steps
  • Create a mission statement
  • Establish your Main Street district boundaries and create a map
  • Establish board of directors and staffing
  • Develop board & staff job descriptions
  • Set up office
  • Regularly communicate with the downtown stakeholders and the community
  • Work with the Nebraska Main Street Network to actively learn more about the Main Street program and work to meet the organizational steps for designation as a Main Street community (communities are not expected to work toward designation on their own without the help of the Nebraska Main Street Network!)
After Designation
  • Visioning, market position, and work plan development—part of the new Main Street Approach™
  • Physical assessment of the district
  • On-going active participation in training, technical assistance and activities from the Nebraska Main Street Network and the National Main Street Center
Ongoing Participation Requirements
  • Broad based community support for the program (local city government, downtown businesses, other organizations, citizens of the community)
  • Willingness and ability to maintain Main Street designation for the long-term
  • Historic preservation ethic
  • Active board, staff and working committees
  • Adequate operating budget and paid staff
  • Active participation in Nebraska Main Street Network programming including asking for assistance and community specific training
  • Monthly and annual reporting requirements
  • Participation in annual assessment
  • Recommended attendance at the annual National Main Street Center's Main Street NOW Conference

If you’re not working the program, the program will not work for you!

It is important to be an active participant  in the Main Street program in order to see the physical and economic impact on your downtown while achieving social vitality. 

Successful Main Street communities attend training and ask for help.

Involve state coordinating program staff in the work you are doing locally.