Main Street Program

The Main Street movement has transformed the way communities think about the revitalization and management of their downtown's and neighborhood commercial districts. Cities and towns across the nation have come to see that a prosperous, sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.

The Main Street Program is dedicated to revitalizing Belmont’s downtown district in order to:

  • Create jobs
  • Help grow business
  • Improve citizen satisfaction
  • Increase tourism

Guiding Principles
The guiding principles of the Main Street Four-Point Approach are:

What is the Main Street Program?

The N.C. Main Street Center works to stimulate economic development within the context of historic preservation, using a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and utilized by the National Main Street Center to assist communities across the country.

In 1980, the National Trust created the National Main Street Center to share lessons learned in a pilot program based on their downtown revitalization process: the Main Street Four Point Approach. For the next three years, the National Main Street Center conducted a national demonstration in six states, including North Carolina, encouraging the creative use of business and government resources to support local revitalization initiatives.

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center within the N.C. Department of Commerce, is the licensed agency that is charged with administering the Main Street program throughout the state. The Center is committed to following the program guidelines and licensing agreement as outlined by the National Main Street Center and signed by the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The N.C. Department of Commerce designates communities as a “North Carolina Main Street community”. When designated, the local city or town government, and specifically the chief elected official, is notified of the designation. The city or town government determines who will administer the Main Street program at the local level and the city or town manager communicates that information to the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. From time-to-time, that administration may change. This document outlines the steps that must be followed for a change in local administration to occur.

Since 1980, over 111 communities have directly benefited from the North Carolina Main Street program, bringing economic strength to North Carolina’s downtown commercial districts, securing $2.3 billion in new investment creating more than 19,800 net new jobs and rehabilitating 5,500 buildings.

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