Our 5 Year Strategic Plan
Street Alabama is transforming quality of life in Alabama communities
by restoring the vitality of their downtowns. Economic development is
at the heart of this effort. Working with affiliated local entities,
Main Street Alabama helps bring jobs, dollars and people to support
vibrant and sustainable commercial districts that are essential to
healthy communities. Main Street Alabama delivers expertise and tools
to help create powerful partnerships needed to bring historic
downtowns back to life. At the state level, we champion programs,
policies and resources that pave the way.
Street Alabama partners with the State, with EDPA, and with other
economic and community development organizations to advance the
In addition to helping achieve the plan’s downtown redevelopment
and rural development priorities, Main Street programs contribute
directly to the plan’s three core thrusts:
of new business and industry
thriving downtown can be the deciding factor in influencing a new
industry or business to select a specific community.
and expansion of existing business and industry
Street Alabama provides market analysis, training and access to
resources that support small business retention, succession and
creation through innovation, entrepreneurship, research and
development, and commercialization
Street fosters startup businesses and entrepreneurial development.
In recent years, the historical role of downtowns as a test market
for entrepreneurs has grown stronger. Main Street Alabama supports
this trend with data, training and resources.
identifying market opportunities and providing the training to
realize them, Main Street Alabama lays the foundation for healthy
communities. Main Street follows a nationally tested model to add new
jobs, retail and services, along with upper-story housing. Preserving
historic buildings while filling them with new uses has proven a
potent strategy to create places that draw people of all ages,
incomes and cultures to live, work, shop and spend leisure time.
Main Street programs are more than great events and pretty downtowns.
Main Street is a comprehensive approach to economic development that
supports entrepreneurship, enhances the tax base, builds community
capacity, and creates partnerships among groups key to
the country, Main Street communities evidence the value of mixed-use,
walkable historic downtowns. The economic and social benefits come
from long-term commitment to:
local business marketing tools
entrepreneurship, new businesses and expansion of existing
promoting local shopping
productive collaborations among community groups, leaders and
Plan 2015 – 2019
community economic development outcomes
funding. Facilitate funding source relationships with project
owners, financial institutions, government-related grants,
foundation support and tax incentives to enable Main Street
communities to build local capacity and effectiveness. Utilize
local private investment to leverage funding from New Market Tax
Credits; State and Federal Historic Rehab Tax Credits; Federal
programs such as Appalachian Regional Council, Delta Regional
Authority, TVA, USDA and CDBG; and loan funds from the Association
of Regional Councils & ADECA.
barriers to downtown development. Identify and find solutions to
impediments for mixed-use development, building codes, zoning,
streamlined permit processes, etc., in order to attract developers
to downtown projects. Work to strengthen the effectiveness of local
Main Street leaders’ relationships with public officials and
business leaders to achieve win/win outcomes that will facilitate
community and economic development.
to grow the Main Street Program and expand the impact of Main
Street tools and expertise. Identify, recruit and support new
communities to participate in the Main Street program and spread
the benefits of revitalized economies and improved quality of life.
Recruit and add a minimum of 3 new designated Main Street
communities and a minimum of 5 new Downtown Network communities a
Main Street Alabama’s reach and expertise by adding a second
field staff position who, along with President Mary Helmer, will
spend 50% of time on the road working in communities to produce
board development, goal setting & committee work plan training
in existing communities (8) and all new communities (3 per year).
awareness of the value of Main Street Alabama with business and
community leaders and public officials across the state
private and governmental engagement by working closely with the
League of Municipalities, EDPA, EDAA, Association of Regional
Councils, Business Council of Alabama, etc. Speak annually at their
conferences and engage these organizations in community market
assessments and resource visits to identify and grow community
capacity. Brief appropriate state government officials on a
regular and productive basis.
visibility of the hands-on assistance and impact of Main Street
Alabama through news media contacts, social media (Facebook,
Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc.) and electronic communications.
Track audience engagement with google analytics. Gather
testimonials from local businesses, entrepreneurs and volunteers.
Cultivate direct relationships with media throughout the state.
quarterly economic stats from designated Main Street Communities
(job creation, new and expanded businesses, private and public
reinvestment) via e-letter, web site, and other means. Make
available to investors, business and community leaders and public
officials across the state, and the general public.
an Annual Awards program to tell and celebrate important stories
about successful Main Street revitalization throughout the state.
at least one meeting for property owners and municipal officials in
each Main Street community to educate them about the benefits of
and strategies to provide public/private investment in downtown
financial resources with requirements to deliver meaningful results
and cultivate sources of funding and expertise for training and
entrepreneurial development. Focus particularly on state government
and private support for services that benefit state economic
outcomes, and on corporate, agency and individual collaborations
that are both productive and cost-effective.
ways to utilize technology to increase results within the limits of
fee structure & potential for other fee-based services to
generate additional income.