The Main Street Approach® was developed by the National Main Street Center, Inc. with the goal of economic development within the context of historic preservation. The following four points and eight guiding principles are integrated to create a positive, identifiable image for downtown districts.
Economic Vitality — This element involves diversifying the commercial district economy by identifying potential market niches, finding new uses for vacant or underused spaces and improving business practices.
Design — Utilizing appropriate design concepts, the visual quality of the commercial district (buildings, signs, window displays, landscaping, and environment) is enhanced.
Organization — Each community has many groups of people who are interested in and are willing to work toward the goal of a revitalized commercial district. The organizational element brings together the public sector, private groups and individual citizens, with coordination by a paid program manager, to work more effectively in the commercial district.
Promotion — By promoting the downtown in a positive manner, a community can begin to focus on the commercial district as a source of community pride, social activity and economic development potential.