WHAT IS MAIN STREET?
Main Street is a national, highly acclaimed downtown revitalization program begun in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization that encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation. The program is designed to improve all aspects of downtown, making it a shopping, service and social center. Main Street has earned national recognition as a practical strategy scaled to meet a community's resources and conditions. Presently 37 states are administering the Main Street program in over 2,000 communities nationwide.
NORTH CAROLINA MAIN STREET PROGRAM
The North Carolina Main Street Center (NCMSC) is housed in the Department of Commerce Division of Community Planning Assistance and currently provides assistance to 61 communities throughout the state. Since the program began in 1980, North Carolina Main Street downtowns have experienced a gain of $1.4 billion in new investment, a net gain of 13,700 jobs, renovations of 3,300 buildings, and a net gain of 3,300 businesses. Concord joined the North Carolina Main Street Program in 1990.
THE MAIN STREET APPROACH TO DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION
Main Street is based on a four-point approach to revitalization:
The CDDC staffs a full-time office to implement the Main Street four-point approach on a daily basis. The CDDC utilizes the collective efforts of a large and diverse group of community stakeholders including: business owners, professionals, property owners, elected officials, corporate citizens, consumers, media representatives, bankers, realtors, historical societies, and civic organizations.
The CDDC strengthens the existing economic assets of Historic Downtown Concord while diversifying the economic base. Activities include assisting existing downtown businesses with their expansion efforts, recruiting new businesses to provide a balanced mix, sharpening the competitiveness of downtown retailers and services, and analyzing downtown's potential role in the local economy.
Desiqn & Beautification
The CDDC facilitates enhancing the physical appearance of downtown with attention to historic building rehabilitation, window displays, parking facilities, signs, and other elements that convey a visual message about what downtown is and what it has to offer.
Promotions & Marketing
CDDC markets Historic Downtown Concord's unique characteristics to customers, investors, and visitors by building a positive image of the historic business district through retail promotional activities, special events, and educational programs.
Viable downtowns add to a strong tax base and are critical to the health of the entire community. They preserve and create employment opportunities and increase the community's options for goods and services. Long-term downtown revitalization efforts provide an environment that supports businesses and allows them to prosper, contributing increased tax revenues to the community. A revitalized downtown influences corporate decisions to locate within a community.