Eight Guiding Principles of a Main Street Program
Successful Main Street efforts follow eight guiding principles:
To avoid repeating the failures of the past, revitalization must address all of the district's problems and opportunities in a unified way. No single focus - such as lavish public improvements, "name-brand" business recruitment, or endless promotional events, can do the job. Comprehensive activity in each of the areas of the Four Point Approach leads to success.
There is no quick fix for Main Street. Problems did not develop overnight and they will not be solved overnight. Success at planning and implementing basic, simple activities leads to a deeper understanding of the revitalization process, and these skills allow the community to tackle more complex problems and ambitious projects.
In Colorado, as across the country, local initiative and resources are what power Main Street success. The assistance provided to communities through the CCRA Main Street program is valuable. However, long-term local commitment is what must sustain revitalization. This means convincing residents and business owners of the rewards for their investment of time and money in Main Street, as the heart of their community.
The public and private sectors have vital interests in the future of downtown. Each has valuable skills, perspectives and programs to bring to revitalization. Partnerships are essential. Partners contribute time, money and expertise.
Main Street must capitalize on the unique assets it already has, such as distinctive buildings, neighborly shop owners, good service, and a human scale.
Downtown was built on the cornerstone of quality. A high standard of quality must be set for every aspect of the commercial district: from window displays to marketing brochures, from public improvements to storefront renovations.
To many communities, downtown has become irrelevant. Changes in perception and attitudes about the district are slow but are as important as visible changes.
Make a difference TODAY! Most communities have enough plans collecting dust on their shelves to last a century. Frequent, visible change is key to moving revitalization forward. Main Street's focus is to simultaneously plan for the future while creating visible change and activity NOW. Main Street status is a competitive process, and requires an extensive application form with community input. Filling it out is a group effort.
Main Street is an intensive four-part strategy, involving organization, design, economic restructuring, and promotion.