Main Street is a self-help, technical assistance program that targets revitalization and preservation of downtown districts through the development of a comprehensive strategy. This strategy is based on four points: organization, design, promotion and economic vitality. The program has a long history of success throughout the United States and in Kansas. What started as a small pilot program in the late 1970s has now grown to include nearly 2,000 communities in more than 40 states. Throughout the country, communities have utilized the Main Street ApproachTM to rally residents around a focused plan of action that transforms their community and enhances their quality of life.
To become a Designated Kansas Main Street community, registrants must participate in a competitive, annual application process. This process includes attending our Application Workshop and attaining recommendation by the Review Team based on their evaluation of a community’s capacity to achieve success. The completed application must demonstrate:
Once selected, Designated Communities receive:
To expand the program’s reach and bring similar revitalization tools to more communities, the Affiliate Community program has been created. Participation as an Affiliate Community costs $400 annually, and it allows members to send up to four people to the same quarterly trainings offered to Designated Kansas Main Street communities. Anyone—including individuals, businesses, and civic organizations—may join the Affiliate Program.
From 1985 to 2012, more than $600 million in redevelopment took place in participating Kansas communities. This included the opening or expansion of 3,800 small businesses, creating more than 8,600 new jobs. With the return of the state program in 2020, 25 previously participating communities and new programs will once again have the resources and tools they need to breathe new life into their communities and historic commercial districts.
In Partnership with the Office of Rural Prosperity.