The Main Street Approach
The Main Street approach to downtown revitalization is based on four points:
- Design involves improving the downtown’s image by enhancing its physical appearance-not just the buildings, but also that of streetlights, window displays, parking areas, signs, sidewalks, and all other elements that convey a visual message about the downtown and what it has to offer.
- Organization means cooperation among the groups that play roles in the downtown. All of the following have a stake in the economic viability of the downtown: Bankers, property owners, city and county officials, merchants, professionals, Chamber of Commerce, industries, civic groups, historical societies, schools, residents, real estate agents, local media and more.
- Promotion involves marketing the downtown’s unique characteristics to shoppers, investors, new businesses, tourists and others.
- Economic Restructuring means strengthening the existing economic base of the downtown while diversifying it. Activities include recruiting new businesses, converting unused space into productive property and helping existing downtown business expand.
The key to the success of the Main Street approach is its comprehensive nature.
Identifying the Participants
The local Main Street program must involve groups and individuals throughout the community in order to be successful. Downtown revitalization requires the participation and commitment of a broad-based coalition of public and private groups: businesses, civic groups, local government, financial institutions, and many others. It also involves mobilizing a large number of volunteers to implement activities.
Different groups have different interests in the downtown. While each may have a particular focus, all groups ultimately share the common goal of revitalizing the commercial district. By involving a broad range of constituents in the process, the downtown program can help each group realize that this common goal exists and the cooperation is essential for successful revitalization.
History, character and people are a community's strengths!
Each community is unique, and each downtown has special characteristics that set it apart from all others. By creating a strong revitalization effort based on the downtown’s unique heritage, each local Main Street program creates on organizational structure that builds on its own specific opportunities. In this way, the Main Street program is adaptable.
- The Main Street program was begun by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, and is housed in Washington, D.C. Newnan is one of the 36 Georgia Main Street cities. The Georgia Main Street program is housed in the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Atlanta.
- Our Newnan Main Street programs has been quite successful, with $1.2 million reinvested last year through rehabilitations and improvements, over 62 new jobs created downtown. It is the broad-based support that makes these achievements possible.
- The Newnan Main Street program is a public-private partnership, deriving its funds from the City of Newnan and from membership dues. All funds are generated at a local level. We need involvement from businesses to continue our progress.
- Mayor Keith Brady,
- Martha Anne Parks, Chairman,
- Sam Edwards,
- Rochelle Norred,
- Ray DuBose,
- Graylin Ward,
- One unoccupied seat.