The Main Street Four-Point Approach™
New Mexico MainStreet and its participating local programs use the Main Street Four-Point Approach™ as the basis for their downtown revitalization work. Proven to be highly successful in New Mexico for nearly 25 years, this community-driven, flexible approach to downtown revitalization involves work in four key areas, all of which address the range of issues and challenges in traditional commercial districts.
Organization involves establishing and maintaining a group that works in partnership with the public and private sector to plan and implement a comprehensive downtown revitalization strategy.
Local Main Street programs work to engage government officials, business owners, residents, community institutions, schools, media, civic organizations, and many other groups and individuals in the revitalization process. The Main Street group also gathers input and builds consensus about what should happen in downtown, raises the funds and implements projects, recruits and retains a broad base of volunteers, communicates the work of the organization and progress being made downtown, and ensures that the program has the resources it needs to realize the community's dreams for Main Street.
The Design point of Main Street consists of improving the physical appearance of the downtown district.
Local Main Street organizations develop an overall strategy of physical improvements and work to make those changes happen so that the Main Street district is more attractive and appealing to residents, visitors, and investors. Main Street organizations work with business and property owners to encourage good design practices, including building maintenance, storefront renovations, building rehabilitation, effective window displays, interior merchandising, sign presentation, and other design improvements. In partnership with the public sector, Main Street organizations work to improve downtown's public spaces, including streets, sidewalks, infrastructure, traffic flow, pedestrian safety, landscaping, parks, and amenities such as banners, benches, and decorative lighting. By working to improve the tangible aspects of its district, a Main Street organization can preserve and enhance the appearance, architectural character, quality, and function of the downtown area for generations to come.
Under the Promotion (or Marketing) point, local Main Street programs work to enhance the image of downtown and to attract people to the district to socialize, shop at local businesses and restaurants, and enjoy local history and culture.
Local Main Street organizations establish an overall marketing strategy and implement a variety of events that build public awareness of the downtown as a destination and attract people to the area. By hosting special events and festivals, retail and business promotions, and marketing campaigns, Main Street programs improve the downtown's overall image and create a lively, inviting atmosphere featuring a variety of activities that expand downtown's market and customer base.
Economic Positioning involves strengthening and improving the downtown economy.
Under this point, Main Street organizations work to understand local economic forces and assets, as well as existing and potential markets. They identify and meet the needs of businesses, working to build skills and retain existing businesses in the downtown. Local Main Street organizations work to identify and recruit appropriate new businesses that are compatible with the community's vision for downtown and feasible in the market. They also identify new uses for vacant or underutilized downtown property and may work to establish financing tools—usually loan programs or small grants—to support downtown business or property development. Through these efforts, local Main Street programs can, over time, improve the economic health and vitality of the downtown by increasing business profitability, employment, and downtown's value.