Government Relations and Advocacy

Advocacy and government collaboration - from elected officials and public agencies to individual stakeholders organized through collective pride of community - are at the heart of the Main Street movement.


Resources for Main Street Advocacy

Main Street America's Government Relations team works across the network, with partner organizations, and with public officials to advance the mission and vision of Main Street. Our goal is to increase the visibility of Main Street as a public concern with specific focus to federal programs supporting Main Street priorities and the sustainability of Main Street Coordinating Programs.

Below you'll find resources for Main Street programs, civic leaders, and partners on how we can all advocate for place-based economic development for downtowns and commercial districts.

Federal Advocacy Issues

Main Street America and its network of Coordinating Programs and local Main Street programs speak up in support of funding and policy priorities that support our network and advance key focus areas of community preservation, place-based economic development, and civic infrastructure.  

 Key federal programs that support Main Street revitalization include: 

  • Historic Preservation Fund competitive grants, such as Paul Bruhn Revitalization Grants, offer needed funding to support storefront renovations and building rehabilitations, including creating upper floor housing in mixed use buildings. 
  • Historic Tax Credits at both the federal and state level provide essential financing to building redevelopment projects while leveraging private investment. 
  • USDA Rural Development programs such as Rural Community Development Initiative and Rural Business Development Grants have supported capacity building and entrepreneurial ecosystem building in rural Main Street communities. 
  • Community Development Block Grants can support commercial district infrastructure, small business activities, and capacity building training in both rural downtowns and big city districts. 

What We're Reading

What We're Writing

Advocacy in Action

Contact Us

Not sure where to start in an advocacy effort for your community? If you have specific questions or needs, reach out to our team at