The Main Street Approach is a nationwide, time-tested framework for
community-driven, comprehensive revitalization. Working together, the
Main Street America Network helps to breathe new life into the places
people call home. The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance is a
nationally accredited Main Street Program.


The Main Street movement grew out of a recognition that a community is
only as strong as its core. In an era when many people had given up hope
about the commercial and cultural viability of downtown, and when suburbs,
shopping malls, and big-box retailers were dominating the American
landscape, this seemed like an unlikely proposition. But, over the last four decades, the Main Street movement has proven that downtowns are the heart of our communities and that a community is only as strong as its core.

Main Street empowers communities to set their own destinies. While revitalization is challenging work, the Main Street program offers a road-map for locally-owned, locally-driven prosperity. Across the country, thousands of communities have used the Main Street Approach to transform their economies, leverage local leadership, and improve the overall quality of life, while preserving their heritage.

The Main Street Approach is based on a 4-Point Approach, supported by the work of four volunteer committees: Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion. The four points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort.


Enhances the look and
feel of the commercial district. Historic building rehabilitation, street and alley clean-up,
landscaping, street furniture, signage, visual merchandising, and lighting all improve the physical image of the downtown
as a quality place to shop, work, walk, invest in, and live. Design improvements result in a reinvestment
of public and private
dollars to downtown.


Focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses,
catalyze property development, and create
a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive
local economies.


Building a Main Street framework that is well represented by business
and property owners, bankers, citizens, historic preservationists, entrepreneurs, public officials, chambers of commerce, and other local economic development organizations. Everyone
must work together to
enew downtown. A strong organization provides the structure and stability to build and maintain a
long-term effort.


Creates excitement and vibrancy downtown.
Street festivals, parades, retail events, and image development campaigns are some of the ways
Main Street provides education on what’s downtown and
encourages customer
traffic. Promotion
involves marketing an enticing image to
shoppers, investors, and visitors.