Downtown Revitalization Resources

Downtown Revitalization Resources

Downtown Revitalization Resources

Nationally Recognized, Locally Powered

Main Street Approach

The Main Street Approach® is a unique preservation-based economic development tool that enables communities to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets – from historic, cultural, and architectural resources to local enterprises and community pride.

The success of the Main Street Approach® is based on its comprehensive nature. By carefully integrating four points (Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion) into a practical downtown management strategy, a local Main Street program will produce fundamental changes in a community’s economic base. Learn more here:

Main Street 101

As a comprehensive economic development tool, the Main Street Approach® is the foundation many communities in Washington and nationwide use to strengthen their historic downtown and commercial districts. This webinar will provide an orientation to the Main Street Approach® for new board and staff, committee volunteers, and those looking to support their downtown with this proven revitalization strategy.

Washington Main Street Handbook

Our program guide and handbook is an excellent tool for communities interested in learning more about Main Street’s economic development principles and organizational framework. The downloadable PDF document features a checklist for getting started, core program competencies, information about hiring an executive director, and many sample documents to help the board and committees organize.

Main Street Handbook


Tax Credit Incentive Program

The Main Street tax credit incentive program provides a Business & Occupation (B&O) or Public Utility tax (PUT) credit for private contributions given to eligible downtown organizations. Once your business’ donation request is approved by the Department of Revenue, you are eligible for a tax credit worth 75% of the contribution to your downtown revitalization organization. Designated Washington Main Street Communities are eligible to receive contributions through this state tax credit program.

Businesses statewide can also donate to the Main Street Trust Fund. In this case, the tax credit is worth 50% of your donation. In fact, a business can donate to both up to $250,000. What other program essentially lets you self direct your business taxes? Further, if your downtown organization is a 501(c)3 you may be eligible for a federal income tax deduction as a charitable contribution.

Main Street Tax Credit FAQ

The Main Street Tax Credit Program is established in RCW 82.73. For more information about the program, please view the Main Street Tax Credit brochure and the Step-by-Step Guide to Applying.

Historic Preservation

There are many tools available to Main Street professionals and local property owners seeking to learn about and preserve historic properties in Washington State. Learn about the Anatomy of a Main Street Building, Cast Iron Storefront Systems, and Recent Past on Main Street. The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is also your resource for information about incentives, such as the Federal Historic Tax Credits and Special Tax Valuation.

Engage with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Advocacy efforts and other programming, such as our Most Endangered Places List and the Valerie Sivinski Fund.


RevitalizeWA is Washington’s annual statewide conference focused on historic preservation and economic revitalization. RevitalizeWA is brought to you by Washington State Main Street Program, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation.

RevitalizeWA 2020

Mentorship Program

Learn about the Main Street Approach by being paired with an experienced Executive Director from a Nationally Accredited Washington Main Street Community! Affiliates in good standing who have sent at least one representative to RevitalizeWA in the last year may apply for the Washington Main Street Mentorship Program. If accepted, the Affiliate will first visit the Mentor’s community for an introductory meeting. Then, the Mentor will visit the Affiliate community to meet with the board of directors and/or deliver a “Main Street 101” presentation to the community at-large.

To apply, submit the following information to Breanne Durham at any time during the year:

  1. Name of organization
  2. City population
  3. Primary contact (preferably executive director or board president)
  4. Brief description of your downtown and your community’s economy (i.e. major employers, trends, etc.)
  5. List of 3 challenges facing your downtown district and 3 opportunities in your district

Excellence on Main

The Excellence On Main Awards are organized by the Washington State Main Street Program to recognize communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create sustainable communities and economic vitality in Washington State through downtown revitalization and preservation. Applications by Main Street Communities and Affiliates are accepted starting in February of each year and are awarded at RevitalizeWA later that spring.

Excellence on Main Nomination Form


Please contact State Coordinator, Breanne Durham at 206-624-9449 or by email.