How Mainstreet Works

MainStreet is a revitalization program for downtown areas developed over the past twenty years by the National Trust for Historical Preservation. It is based on the premise that historic buildings cannot be saved unless the downtown area itself is prosperous and offers economic viability. Local programs such as Raton MainStreet are set up as private-public partnerships, combining the resources and efforts of local government, downtown merchants, area businesses, and interested members of the community, including community leaders and volunteers.

MainStreet’s success is built around a comprehensive four-point approach which defines the necessary components of a successful down-town revitalization program.

Organization involves developing the necessary structure for the program – a Board of Directors who are all volunteers, working committees, a paid director, members and volunteers – in order to build consensus and coordinate efforts.

Promotion includes all the tools used to successfully market a downtown, such as special events, retail sales, advertising, and public relations.

Design includes all the visual aspects of an attractive downtown including quality building rehabilitations, commercial and information signage, street furnishings and appealing window displays.

Economic Positioning focuses on improving the downtown area’s economic base by strengthening existing businesses, recruiting new businesses, and working to fill vacancies in downtown buildings.