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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:
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.
Main Street Guides
To help local leaders learn about the Main Street Approach and best practices, Washington Main Street, in partnership with Oregon Main Street, created four Main Street Guides geared toward distinct audiences:
- The About Main Street guide is written for anyone wanting to know more about the Main Street Approach™ and how Main Street organizations serve their communities. Also a great tool to orient new volunteers and board members!
- Starting a Main Street is geared toward people who are new to the Main Street Approach™ and want to explore starting a local Main Street organization for their town.
- Board Leadership and Executive Leadership guides are resources for Main Street boards of directors and executive staff that highlight their distinct roles and responsibilities and how they work in symphony.
Each of the guides can be used as a stand-alone resource but offer a comprehensive view of Main Street as a set. The guides are available in Spanish and English. We’ve also created an Online Resource Library that includes sample documents and additional information referenced in the four guides.
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.
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 WMS Director, Breanne Durham at 206-624-9449 or by email.