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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Name of organization
- City population
- Primary contact (preferably executive director or board president)
- Brief description of your downtown and your community’s economy (i.e. major employers, trends, etc.)
- 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.
Please contact State Coordinator, Breanne Durham at 206-624-9449 or by email.