The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center works in regions, counties, cities, towns, downtown districts, and in designated North Carolina Main Street communities, to inspire placemaking through building asset-based economic development strategies that achieve measurable results such as investment, business growth, and jobs.


Main Street Solutions Fund

Main Street Solutions Fund

Main Street Solutions Fund

Currently there are no additional funds available at this time


The purpose of the fund is to provide maximum support to small businesses in designated micropolitans located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties and/or in designated North Carolina Main Street communities. The grants are used to assist planning agencies and small businesses with efforts to revitalize downtowns by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings.

At present, no additional funds are available through the Main Street Solutions Program. We hope to be able to provide new funding opportunities in the future.

Program Effectiveness

As of February 17, 2021, twenty-five communities have been awarded thirty-six Main Street Solutions Fund grants, totaling $4,818,476. For every $1 invested by the state, an additional $7.01 is anticipated to be invested by the local community. Sixty-five businesses will directly benefit from the Main Street Solutions grant program. Those businesses will create or retain a minimum of 761 permanent full-time and part-time jobs. The total projected investment is $47,191,445.

For further information on the Main Street Solutions Fund grant program, contact:

Viki Dekle
Main Street Grants Administrator
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Work: (919) 814-4818  Cell:  (919) 610-5632

Local Capacity / Disaster Recovery Program

Local Capacity / Disaster Recovery Program

Local Capacity/Disaster Recovery Program

Currently there are no additional funds available at this time


The Local Capacity/Disaster Recovery Program was a one-time grant opportunity in FY18-19 that supported small, but impactful short-term projects that strive to build capacity and resiliency within rural communities across North Carolina. Projects funded through the program included planning and engineering design, streetscape design, public infrastructure, façade or building improvements, branding and web design, wayfinding signage, art or cultural installations, and business recruitment.



For further information, contact:

Viki Dekle
Main Street Grants Administrator
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Work: (919) 814-4668  Cell:  (984) 233-2843

Main Street



Main Street America™ Program works to stimulate economic development within the context of historic preservation, using a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.  The Program helps to lead a powerful, grassroots network consisting of over 40 Coordinating Programs and over 1,200 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to create high-quality places and to build stronger communities through preservation-base economic development. The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is the Main Street America coordinating program for the state.

About NC Main Street

About NC Main Street

NC Main Street

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is the Main Street America coordinating program for the state. NC Main Street staff are charged by the NC Department of Commerce to facilitate downtown economic development, using the Main Street America Four Point Approach, in designated communities.  

NC Main Street staff provide:

  • Strategic downtown economic development planning and technical assistance
  • Main Street program guidance
  • Downtown development education and training

In addition to helping communities implement the Main Street Four Point Approach, NC Main Street holds an annual three-day conference, open to anyone interested in downtown revitalization.

The Main Street Approach 

Every community and commercial district is different, with its own distinctive assets and sense of place. The Main Street Approach™ offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. The Main Street Approach helps communities get started with revitalization, and grows with them over time.

The Main Street Approach™ is centered around Transformation Strategies. A Transformation Strategy articulates a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown or commercial district’s economy. A program’s work on Transformation Strategies should be organized around the Four Point Approach: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization. A revitalization program’s work – and its Transformation Strategies – need to be informed by a solid understanding of local and regional market data, local assets,  and inclusive community engagement.

Program: NC Main Street

Program: NC Main Street

Statewide Reach

NC Main Street Community Map - As of December 2020

2021 Accredited Programs

The Main Street America accreditation process evaluates Main Street programs according to 10 performance standards and provides national accreditation to those that meet these standards. Congratulations to the communities below who met the criteria to receive this special designation.



New Bern






Bessemer City

Hendersonville North Wilkesboro


Boone Hickory Oxford Wake Forest
Brevard Kings Mountain Reidsville Washington


Laurinburg Roanoke Rapids Waxhaw 



Roxboro Waynesville
Clinton Lexington


Concord Lumberton Salisbury Wilson




Edenton Monroe Shelby  
Elizabeth City

Morehead City





Spruce Pine


Elon Mount Airy



2021 Affiliate Programs

Main Street America™ Affiliates are programs that have demonstrated a commitment to achieving meaningful economic, social, physical, and organizational improvements in downtowns or neighborhood commercial districts. These are organizations that have committed to comprehensive revitalization and undertake ongoing efforts to achieve meaningful community outcomes.






Ayden Mocksville  




Rocky Mount  

Forest City

Henderson Valdese  

Program: Small Town Main Street

Program: Small Town Main Street

Current Small Town Main Street Communities


Pymouth Spring Hope Wilkesboro


Richlands Troutman  

Mount Olive

Robersonville Warrenton


Pittsboro Roseboro West Jefferson

Program: Downtown Associate Community

Program: Downtown Associate Community


The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center's Downtown Associate Community program (DAC) launched in May 2015.   The DAC program is the first step towards the      NC Main Street Designation.  State staff work with eligible communities to equip them with the tools to build a sustainable organizational foundation and conduct strategic economic development planning, which strengthens their downtown development efforts. 

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center selects communities every other year via a competitive application process.  North Carolina municipalities, with an identifiable traditional downtown business district and a certified population under 50,000 not already designated as a Main Street or Small Town Main Street community are eligible to apply to the Center for services under the Downtown Associate Community program.  Selected communities will receive three years of downtown revitalization technical assistance services from the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center and may have the opportunity to move up to Main Street designation upon successful completion of the program. 

Current Downtown Associate Community Communities

1. Graham
2. Manteo
3. Mebane
4. Murphy
5. Pilot Mountain
6. Whiteville
7. Zebulon

Important Dates


  • Applications Due: Closed for Current Cycle
  • Site Visits: Closed for Current Cycle
  • Notifications Sent Out: Closed for Current Cycle

Program Information


Closed for Current Cycle



Contact Sherry Adams or Chuck Halsall

Apply to NC Main Street

Apply to NC Main Street

Pathway to Main Street Designation:

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center selects communities every other year for the Downtown Associate Community program (DAC), via a competitive application process.  

The Downtown Associate Community program is the process through which North Carolina communities may become affiliated with the NC Main Street program.  The Downtown Associate Community program is based on the National Main Street Center's downtown revitalization model using the Main Street Approach™.  State staff work with eligible communities to equip them with the tools to build a sustainable organizational foundation and conduct strategic economic development planning, which strengthens their downtown development efforts. 

For more information about applying to the NC Main Street Program, Liz Parham


Annual Conference

Annual Conference

About the Annual NC Main Street Conference

The North Carolina Main Street Conference is an annual 3-day conference, held within a beautiful rural community of NC. The venue changes each year, as do the speakers, sponsors and class offerings. The conference is open to anyone interested in learning about downtown economic development. Attendees gain knowledge from networking with other downtown enthusiast and from class offerings, facilitated by an impressive lineup of downtown professionals. The NC Main Street Awards Ceremony showcases the top projects in the state while the NC Main Street Champions Ceremony recognizes citizens and groups that have made an impact in their community's downtown revitalization efforts. The NC Annual Main Street Conference is one of the many educational offerings, provided by the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, a division within the state's NC Department of Commerce.


NC Main Street Annual Conference Website

Become An Exhibitor or Sponsor

Main Street Awards

Main Street Champions




Liz Parham, CMSM
Director, NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Office: (919) 814-4658
Cell:  (919) 805-2067


Main Street Staff

Sherry Adams, CMSM
Downtown Programming and Technical Assistance Coordinator
48 Grove Street, Asheville, NC 27835
Office: (828) 251-6200
Cell:  (828) 747-8218

Will Best
Special Project Coordinator
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Office: (919) 814-4676
Cell:  (919) 365-0298

Viki Dekle
Administrator, Main Street Grants
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Office: (919) 814-4668 (NEW NUMBER 10.20.20)
Cell: (984) 233-3843

Charles Halsall
Downtown Programming and Technical Assistance Coordinator
105 Pactolus Hwy., Greenville, NC 27835
Cell: (252) 214-5132

Naomi Riley
Downtown Services Coordinator
4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346
Office: (919) 814-4726 (NEW NUMBER 10.20.20)
Cell: (984) 222-5292

Stay Connected!

Rural Planning



Part of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, the Rural Planning program works with municipalities, county governments, and other organizations in rural areas to provide economic development planning assistance through strategic planning and implementation services, technical support, and training. Such services help communities prepare for and respond to potential economic growth opportunities in ways that improve quality of life and prosperity, build community capacity, and maintain the character of rural areas.

To learn more about the Rural Planning program and its services, take a look at the Rural Planning Program Overview document. 



The Rural Planning program provides the following services and assistance to municipalities, county governments, and other organizations in rural areas of North Carolina:

Services Offered

Strategic Economic Development Planning & Implementation Services

  • One-day strategic planning workshops
  • Two-day economic development assessments
  • Five-year strategic plan and program development
  • Implementation plan development
  • Resource identification

Technical Support

  • Assistance with a wide range of community and economic development needs (planning for high impact areas or development policy review, for example)
  • Community-specific assistance (geospatial analysis & mapping to evaluate economic opportunities or developing solutions to address particular economic development issues or needs, for example)

Training and Education

  • Workshops and other training opportunities
  • Research and information-sharing (regarding best practices and success stories, for example)

For more information about Rural Planning program services or to discuss your community's specific needs, please contact Darren Rhodes, Rural Planning Program Manager, at, or the Prosperity Zone planner assigned to your region (contact information can be found here).




Darren Rhodes, CPM
Rural Planning Program Administrator
Community Economic Development Planner, Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone
525 Vine Street, Suite 240
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Cell:       (336) 618-5117

Ann Bass
ARC Community Economic Development Planner, Western Prosperity Zone
253 Webster Road
Sylva, NC 28779
Cell:       (828) 508-0107
Read Ann’s Profile

Kyle Case
ARC Community Economic Development Planner, Northwest Prosperity Zone
720 E. Union Street, Morganton, NC
Cell:     (984) 275-5209

Jeff Emory
Community Economic Development Planner, Southwest Prosperity Zone
615 Concord Road
Albemarle, NC 28001
Cell:       (704) 984-3666
Read Jeff’s Profile

Grace Lawrence
Community Economic Development Planner, Sandhills (South Central) Prosperity Zone
NCWorks Career Center
414 Ray Avenue
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Cell:       (910) 391-1298

Glen Locascio
GIS Analyst
48 Grove Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Office:   (828) 251-6200, ext. 224

Bruce Naegelen
Community Economic Development Planner, North Central Prosperity Zone
8998 US 70 Hwy Business West, Suite 100
Clayton, NC 27520
Cell:       (984) 365-0279
Read Bruce’s Profile

Lee Padrick
Chief Planner
Community Economic Development Planner, Northeast Prosperity Zone
105 Pactolus Hwy. (NC 330
Greenville, NC 27835 (physical address)
PO Box 1587
Greenville, NC 27835 (mailing address)
Cell:       (252) 565-2060
Read Lee’s Profile

Karen Smith, AICP
Coordinator, Rural Solutions
48 Grove Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Office:   (828) 251-6200, ext. 239
Cell:       (828) 747-1585

Amy Suggs
Community Economic Development Planner, Southeast Prosperity Zone
1099 Gum Branch Road
Jacksonville, NC 28540
Cell:       (910) 530-0278

Mark Zeigler, AICP
Community Economic Development Planner
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
Wilmington, NC 28405
Office:   (910) 796-7268
Cell:       (910) 632-4011

Staff PDF Directory

Recent Projects

Recent Projects

Recent Project Documents

Below are links to economic development strategic plans and other project documents prepared for communities in the past few years by the Rural Planning program. The documents are grouped by county.

Ashe County

Lansing Five-Year Economic Development Strategic Plan (2018-2022) & Year One Implementation Plan (2018-2019)

Bladen County

Bladenboro Economic Development Strategic Five-Year Plan 2018-2023

Carteret County

Carteret County Economic Development Action Plan 2016 to 2021

Pine Knoll Shores Asset Mapping Report, July 2017

Clay County

Clay County Tourism Economy Development Plan (2019)

Columbus County

Chadbourn Economic Development Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Job Creation Plan for Distressed Communities in Columbus County, NC (2019)

Currituck County

Currituck County Economic Development Plan (2017)

Edgecombe County

Princeville Report of Economic Positioning Vision Forum (2019)

Tarboro Economic Development Strategic Five-Year Plan 2019 – 2023 (2019)

Franklin County

Town of Franklinton Economic Development Strategic Five-Year Plan 2019 – 2023 (2019)

Franklinton Downtown Assessment (2019)

Louisburg Strategic Economic Development Plan (2017)

Northeast Franklin County Economic Strategy (2018)

Granville County

Oxford Downtown Economic Development Implementation Plan Technical Assistance Report (2018)

Guilford County

Archdale Economic Development Strategic Plan (2018-2023) & Year One Implementation Plan (2018-2019)

Halifax County

Enfield Economic Development Implementation Plan 2018 – 2019

Halifax Economic Strategy (2018)

Littleton Economic Strategy (2018)

Harnett County

Coats Report of Economic Development Assessment (2019)

Hertford County

Ahoskie Economic Strategy (Draft - 2018)

Jackson County

Dillsboro Five-Year Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017-2021) & Year One Implementation Plan (2017-2018)

Sylva Five-Year Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017-2021) & Year One Implementation Plan (2017-2018)

Johnston County

Implementation Report on 2017 Benson Economic Development Strategic Plan Objectives #14 & #17 (2019)

Jones County

Pollocksville Economic Strategy (2016)

Martin County

Parmele Economic Strategy (2017)

Mitchell County

Mitchell Works: An Economic Development Strategic Plan for Mitchell County (2016)

Summary Document - Mitchell Works: An Economic Development Strategic Plan for Mitchell County (2016)

Montgomery County

Biscoe Report of Economic Development Assessment (2018)

Moore County

Cameron Report of Economic Positioning Vision Forum (2018)

Richmond County

Hoffman Report of Economic Development Assessment (2018)

Robeson County

Maxton Economic Development Strategic Plan (2019)

Red Springs Economic Assessment and Recommendations (2019)

Rowan County

China Grove Report of Economic Development Assessment (2018)

Sampson County

Clinton Economic Development Strategic Five-Year Plan 2019 – 2023 (2018)

Surry County

Town of Pilot Mountain Economic Development Action Plan (2018-2019)

Yadkin County

Boonville Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017-2021) & Year One Implementation Plan (2017-2018)

Boonville Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017-2021) & Year Two Implementation Plan (2018-2019)




Below is information about and materials presented and/or referenced during workshops offered by the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center's Rural Planning program as part of its Rural Solutions Workshop Series - Best Practices for Small Town Economic Development.   




Recruiting Retail Businesses - Smithfield



Presentation Slides (1 per page)

Presentation Slides (2 per page)

NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center - Rural Planning Program Overview

NC Department of Commerce Grants & Incentives



Funding Sources and Resources for Downtown and Rural Economic Development (Updated October 2020) 

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center maintains this guide to funding sources and other resources that may support communities and organizations with downtown and rural economic development efforts. 


Guidebook on Local Planning for Healthy Communities (September 2013)

Consistent with its mission, the NC Department of Commerce sponsored preparation of a guidebook on integrating healthy planning principles into local comprehensive plans. The document has statewide applicability and provides technical assistance to municipalities and counties in solving local planning problems. Its focus is on multiple dimensions of healthy community planning, but it goes beyond that basic task to provide a resource guide for towns, cities, and counties in preparing a variety of local plans in addition to comprehensive plans.


For Designated Main Street Communities



Announcements:  Winter 2021

2021 NC Main Street Virtual Conference

*You received registration comp codes from Naomi on Monday, January 11, 2021.  Each Main Street community gets 2 free registrations, and each Small Town Main Street community gets 1 free registration.  If you forget to use the codes and pay for your registration, you will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Register today for the 2021 NC Main Street Conference!   March 9-11, 2021 – Virtual “Main Street: Pivoting for Prosperity”

COVID-19 has challenged everyone in many ways. And yet, we have all heard, “That which does not kill you will only make you stronger.” Main Street is a strong organization with strong local programs that have rolled up their sleeves and brought together individuals to strengthen and rebuild businesses and communities over the past 12 months.

Main Street: Pivoting for Prosperity recognizes that through the hardships that communities, businesses, property owners, and individuals have to endure as a result of a pandemic, a natural disaster, a market shift, or another crisis, the Main Street program helps build more resilient downtowns that are better equipped to face the next challenge. The Main Street Program and its strategies, principles, and comprehensive Four-Point Approach™ to downtown revitalization, helps communities pivot for prosperity. The Program was developed in the late 1970s because of the development of malls and strip centers that attracted anchor businesses to relocate from downtowns. Small towns and cities across the country had to pivot to survive and to thrive. To many, it seemed like a man-made disaster had struck, but downtowns came back stronger than ever and they will do it again.

The 2021 North Carolina Main Street Conference will explore a commitment to local. The key to economic development in small cities and towns is local investment, locally owned businesses, and a vast array of local volunteerism and community engagement. What is the future of North Carolina downtowns, of marketing, of events, of building community? The annual NC Main Street Conference will provide you with the answers to these questions and more! This conference, the largest statewide downtown revitalization conference in the country, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It brings together individuals and organizations interested in economic growth and success for downtowns. Conference attendees include downtown economic development professionals, elected officials and local government staff, rural leadership, volunteers, business and property owners, consultants, vendors, and sponsors that are all involved in the betterment of downtown districts and their communities.

This milestone event will be held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic. Our commitment to safety will not diminish the high-quality learning experience that you will receive at this year’s conference. Expect a mix of inspiring keynotes, engaging plenary and break-out sessions, and a downtown toolkit of pre-recorded sessions with experienced presenters that you can listen to repeatedly and at your convenience. This year’s conference will provide you with the tools, data, and knowledge to take on any challenge that comes your way. The North Carolina Main Street Conference offers the most innovative approaches to downtown revitalization and redevelopment available in the state and, perhaps, in the southeast.  We will see you on the computer in March!

Visit Conference Website to Register Today!

Questions or problems registering?

Contact Sharon Tripp at 919-280-4018 OR

Redevelopment Guide

The Main Street program is economic development within the context of historic preservation.  With that being said, many of our Main Street communities have communicated a need for additional technical assistance on understanding the process and the role of the Main Street organization in the redevelopment of downtown properties.  The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to write a redevelopment guide, to specifically provide you with a step-by-step process and a checklist for leveraging redevelopment projects in your downtown districts.  The guide is attached as a PDF, and will be uploaded to the NC Commerce website.   I strongly encourage you to download the guide and use it as you work with projects over the coming years.  In addition, the consultant that wrote the guide, Diane Young, will be conducted a break-out session at the NC Main Street Conference, on the redevelopment process and how to use the guide.

NC Small Business Survey

In October NC Main Street & Rural Planning (MS&RP) Center, in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), created a NC Small Business Survey.  I asked you to share the survey with businesses in your community to identify their greatest needs and concerns. The survey drew responses from 1,219 small businesses from all 100 North Carolina counties, including 275 towns. Thank you for encouraging small businesses to participate! The survey responses have been compiled into a report which can be found HERE.

The MS&RP Center and the SBTDC will collaborate to offer statewide training webinars, deliver one-on-one support, and provide technical assistance that addresses identified small business needs in these areas: planning for business continuity, developing a marketing plan, augmenting financial planning and assistance, pivoting a business, creating social media, and developing websites and e-commerce platforms. Through the survey, 353 small businesses also requested one-on-one business counseling services which the SBTDC provides at no charge. The partnership between the MS&RP Center and the SBTDC is intended to spur recovery and build more resilient local economies that can withstand crises and disasters including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please review and share the NC Small Business Survey report as you see fit.  If you have any questions about the survey report or results, please let me know.

Leverage NC

The N.C. League of Municipalities, N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Downtown Development Association, and N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources have formed a partnership, LEVERAGE NC.  Through a carefully curated catalog of educational offerings and expert resources, Leverage NC will provide cities and towns statewide the tools needed to strengthen local economies and support enhanced business opportunity back at home.

The next training session, “How to Be a Better Grant Writer”, is scheduled for Thursday, January 21, at 10 am.  It will feature seasoned panelists from across the professional spectrum, who have prepared, reviewed, written, and awarded grants on the local, state, federal and foundation levels. These experts will share best practices for every step of the process.  You can register for this training HERE.

COVID 19 Resources

Don’t forget, the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center has a robust COVID resource site that is updated anytime new information is available.  Check it out HERE.

AND,  you are  encouraged you to download and use the new SlowCOVIDNC app, developed for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS) to alert users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data. The more North Carolinians who use this resource, the more effective it will be.

NC Main Street Jewelry

NC Main Street & Sylvan Spirits  have formed a partnership to produce NC Main Street jewelry featuring our NC Main Street brick.  Pieces include a pendant and earrings  You may have met the owner, Rebecca, at the NC Main Street Conference in  New Bern.  But now, the jewelry is available for purchase, and can also be sold in your local galleries and museum shops.  Consider purchasing a piece of two.  Purchase a piece for a family member or friend.  Share on social media to spread the word.  All proceeds that go to NC Main Street will be used for downtown economic development  training and programming that will directly benefit NC Main Street & Small Town Main Street communities.


Nothing is due to NC Main Street until the end of June. More in the spring update.


Economic Vitality Basic Training

As a result of COVID, we will be offering spring basic training course virtually.  There are 30 minute breaks built into the schedule throughout the day.  IF you are new to Main Street then you are required to take the training.  In order to receive credit, you must be signed on for the entire day.  We highly encourage you to register your board members.  This is an excellent way to build capacity at the local level. 

•             Economic Vitality Basic Training will be on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.   Agenda is HERE.

The cost for each session/per person is $25.00.  You must pre-register each person that will be attending each session so that we can send them the log in information. 

If you need assistance, please contact Naomi Riley or call 984-222-5292.

Regional meetings

Regional Meetings will be virtual this spring.  Main Street Directors and Small Town Main Street Directors are required to attend at least one of the two regional meetings per year.  

Register HERE– scroll down to register for the correct meeting.  If you cannot attend the meeting for your prosperity zone region, feel free to register for another meeting.    If you are unsure which region you are in, please take a look at the MAP of Main Street, Small Town Main Street and Downtown Associate Community programs.

•             Regional Meetings  will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be held on the following dates:

o             Monday, May 3 – North Central

o             Tuesday, May 4 – Southwest

o             Tuesday, May 4 – Northeast

o             Wed. May 5 – Western

o             Wed. May 5 – Northwest

o             Thurs. May 6 – Sandhills/Southeast

o             Thurs. May 6 – Piedmont-Triad


NC Association of Festivals & Events – Showfest 2021 Virtual Conference

If events are important to your organization, consider attended the NC Association of Festivals & Events virtual conference, February 1-2, 2021.   REGISTER HERE

National Main Street Center’s Main Street Now Conference

The Main Street Now Conference will be virtual this year, and registration will open in February.  Be on the lookout, as this is a great opportunity to participate in a national conference with less expenses.

Annual Deadlines & Training

Annual Deadlines & Training

Training Requirements


Required to attend: New MS Directors/New STMS Coordinators

  • Must attend the Main Street Orientation, held virtually each month, within three months of start date (if not previously attended)
  • Sign Up

Basic Training

Required to attend: New MS Directors/New STMS Coordinators
Encouraged to attend: Staff, Board Members, Committee Members, Volunteers

  • Must attend all four of the MS Basic Trainings, within the first year of employment  1) Economic Vitality   2) Design   3) Promotion   4) Organization

  • Sign Up

Directors Meeting

Required to attend:  Main Street Directors 
Encouraged to attend:  Staff

  • ALL Main Street Directors must attend the NC Main Street Directors’ Meeting held once a year in August
  • In the case of a vacancy or illness/emergency, a substitution for the director may be made for this meeting
  • Sign Up

Regional Meeting

Required to attend:  MS Directors/STMS Coordinators 
Encouraged to attend: Staff

  • Main Street Directors and Small Town Main Street Coordinator must attend a minimum of one of two Regional Meetings each year. (Held in July and October) 
  • If the Director or Coordinator cannot attend, a volunteer can attend in their place
  • Sign Up

NC Main Street Conference

Required to attend:  Main Street Directors AND a minimum of one volunteer, Small Town Main Street Coordinators
Encouraged to attend:  Anyone interested in downtown revitalization

  • Main Street Directors and a minimum of one volunteer must attend the annual NC Main Street Conference - NCMS provides each designated MS community with two complimentary registrations
  • Small Town Main Street Coordinators must attend the annual N.C. Main Street Conference - NCMS provides each designated STMS community with one complimentary registrationTraining Calendar
  • Sign Up

2021 PDF Calendar


  • January 5, 2021 - Program Assessments (MS/STMS) - Not Required for 2021 Due to COVID-19
  • June 1, 2021 - Trademark Agreements (MS/STMS) - Nation Main Street Sends This Request
  • June 30, 2021 - Annual Agreements (MS/STMS)
  • July 30, 2021 - Program Statistics (MS/STMS)
  • October 1, 2021 - Award Nominations (MS/STMS)
  • October 1, 2021 - Champion Nominations (MS)
Annual NC Main Street Agreement

Annual NC Main Street Agreement

Main Street Communities

Designated Main Street communities (Main Street Director and Main Street Board Chair or City/Town Manager) must sign the document and return to the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center by the agreement's due date to remain active in the program. 

Small Town Main Street Communities

Designated Small Town Main Street communities (Small Town Main Street Coordinator and Town Manager) must sign this document and return to the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center by the agreement's due date to remain active in the program. 

Annual National Licensing Agreement

Annual National Licensing Agreement

National Main Street Licensing Agreement

The Annual Licensing Agreement is between you, the local NC programs (Main Street & Small Town Main Street) and the National Main Street Center.  *Downtown Associate Community programs, are not required to sign the licensing agreement.


  • Main Street & Small Town Main Street program directors/coordinators will receive an email from Steve Amraen via with the Annual National Main Street Licensing Agreement.  
  • Main Street & Small Town Main Street program directors/coordinators will sign the agreement.  The agreement will automatically go to Liz Parham to sign.  
  • Liz Parham will sign the agreement. The fully executed agreement will automatically go back to the program director/coordinator, Liz and to the National Main Street Center. 
  • If you DO NOT get an agreement, email Steve Amraen and copy Liz Parham.
Annual Program Assessment

Annual Program Assessment

Program Assessment Survey

Due:  January 5, 2021 by 5pm  Not Required in 2021 Due to COVID-19

The Program Assessment Survey is a tool we use to review your annual progress as a designated NC Main Street community.   Each community will receive a Program Report Card, based off of your Assessment.  Please do not wait until the last minute to do your Assessment. We cannot stress enough that each Assessment be accurate.  If questioned, you must have documentation to support your submission.   Failure to submit the Assessment could lead to inactive status for your community.

  • Below is the Program Assessment Survey link for calendar year:  January 1 - December 31, 2020
  • Assessments must be completed in their entirety
  • Complete the Budget and Salary survey section based on YOUR CURRENT budget:   January 1 - December 31, 2020  OR  July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 
  • Scan the assessment and all supporting attachments into one PDF document
  • Submit the assessment through email to Sherry Adams


Feel free to call or email our staff.


  • The NC Department of Commerce does not use Dropbox or Google Docs, therefore you cannot submit through those sites
  • If your file is too large to email, email us.  We will send you a link, to upload the pdf to our Commerce sharefile system

Thank you for all your efforts in 2020 to move your downtown forward.


Main Street Program Assessment Form - Sample from 2019

Small Town Main Street Program Assessment Form - Sample from 2019

Annual Statistics

Annual Statistics

Online Statistics Reporting:

Online Portal

  • Opens:  July 1, 2021  (Must have secured your NCID prior to July 1 - See instructions below)

  • Portal Locks:  July 30, 2021 - 5pm 

Current Annual Statistics Reports

NCID Instructions & Password Recovery: 

New Directors: NCID Registration Process

  • Step 1

  • Step 2

    • Select the registration category “Business”.

    • Do not select the category “Local Government Employee”, as this is for specific agencies, and does not allow self-registration.

    • Do not select the category “Individual” as this registration will not provide adequate information required for by the Main Street reporting system.

    • Use of the category “Business” is allowed for this reporting system, and provides the information required.

  • Step 3

    • Once you click on the “Business” category button, you will be directed to the registration page.

    • Complete and submit the requested information, which includes the user ID and password that you would like to use.

    • We suggest a personal user id – such as johndoe, etc.

    • WRITE DOWN AND REMEMBER YOUR USER ID AND YOUR PASSWORD. You will need this to log in year-after-year, so it is very important that you remember it, or you will have to get a new password.

    • The system is within State government, but external to Commerce, therefore we will not be able to reset it for you. You will have to go back into NCID and request it be reset.

  • Step 4

    • NCID will send you an email containing a “Complete Registration” button.

    • You must take the following steps to complete registration before your User ID and password can be used

    • Click on the “Complete Registration” button and you should be directed back to an NCID page.

    • On the NCID page, click on the box that verifies you are not a robot.

    • Follow any additional instructions, if present, and you should be taken to a page where you will select five security questions and answers.

    • Once you have selected your five questions and answers, click on the “Save” button that will appear, then follow any remaining instructions (there may not be any).

    • At this point, your NCID page should indicate that your registration is complete.

  • Step 5

    • Once you have registered your NCID username and password, you can verify that it is active by going to the NCID sign-in page and signing in again.

  • Step 6

    • Once you have confirmed your NCID credentials, the process for establishing credentials is complete.


Previous Year Reporting Directors:

  • Password Issues

    • Contact NCID to change your password.  Unfortunately for security purposes, we can’t help you with that part.  Look on the NCID Tech Sheet for the contact information.


Statistics Online Reporting Instructions:

Important Information For All:

  • Use the Main Street TRACKING FORM and update your statistical data for the period of July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021.   
  • Use the STATISTICS WORKSHEET and enter your cumulative statistic numbers for EACH category. 
    • If you received a state, federal, county, city or town grant for a project in downtown this year – that counts as public investment.
    • If you received a nonprofit grant that is private investment.
    • If businesses are temporarily closed and if jobs are furloughed due to COVID but not permanently eliminated, then they will not be counted as losses.
    • Only count PERMANENT BUSINESSES LOSSES AND JOB LOSSES in your annual statistics.  

New Directors Reporting Directions:

Previous Year Reporting Directors Directions:

Downtown Associate Community:

  • Downtown Associate Community programs, are required to submit their statistics on the STATISTICS WORKSHEET, not online.  



Nominations - Awards (MS & STMS)

Nominations - Awards (MS & STMS)

NC Main Street Annual Awards Submission

For Designated Main Street and Small Town Main Street Communities ONLY



The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is proud to present the annual NC Main Street Awards competition, recognizing the hard work, dedication and success of our NC Main Street communities and their achievements in the Four Points of the Main Street Approach® to downtown revitalization: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization.

Entry Deadline:

October 1, 2021 | 5pm

Awards Ceremony:

March 9, 2022 | Statesville


Any active NC Main Street community that met the statistics deadline for the most recent fiscal year

Projects must have been completed within the past two years of the submission date


  • Each community may submit up to five nominations for downtown district projects
  • A project may be entered in only one category
  • The jury reserves the right to move an entry to a different category, if they feel there is a more appropriate fit
  • The jury reserves the right to withhold an award in any category or to designate more than one winner if they deem appropriate
  • Any previously nominated project that did not receive an award and still meets the two-year time limit may be resubmitted
  • All construction projects must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
  • All materials will become property of the NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center
  • Nominations must include the Main Street Director’s electronic signature. By signing the online submission, the Main Street Director acknowledges the submission is on behalf of their town/board of directors


Submissions will ONLY be accepted by the Local Main Street Directors/Local Small Town Main Street Coordinators.

The submission "draft work document", budget form and online submission form are located on the NC Main Street and Planning website.  

Click on the link below to begin the process. 

Nominations - Champions (MS)

Nominations - Champions (MS)

NC Main Street Annual Awards Submission - Designated Main Street Communities ONLY


  • October 1, 2021 by 5pm

About the Designation

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is proud to annually recognize the efforts of dedicated individuals who have contributed to the success of the local programs across our state. A non-competitive award, the NC Main Street Champion designation honors those persons who have made extraordinary contributions to their downtown. The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center will individually recognize Champions with a video presentation and commemorative certificates celebrating this special honor during the Annual NC Main Street Conference.


​Who is Eligible to Nominate a Champion?

Only communities that are a designated NC Main Street community are eligible to nominate a Champion.

DAC and Small-Town Main Street communities may nominate once they move up to NC Main Street.

Why Nominate?

Designating an NC Main Street Champion is a wonderful way to show your organization’s appreciation for the efforts of a deserving person (or persons) who has/have gone the extra mile in working to make your downtown successful. A secondary benefit of designating a Champion is the opportunity it provides for generating goodwill and positive PR for your downtown program.


Nomination Categories

NC Main Street Champions MUST BE PEOPLE, who have made a SIGNIFICANT impact in a downtown or a downtown program, ideally over the last year and who went above and beyond their volunteer or job responsibilities. Once an NC Main Street Champion, always an NC Main Street Champion! If your program has previously honored someone as an NC Main Street Champion, that individual continues to be a Champion for your community and may not be re-designated by your program. However, someone who received the designation from another community and has made significant contributions to your downtown’s revitalization efforts may also be named a Champion by your town.


​Champion designation may fall under the following categories:

An individual - (John Smith)

A couple - (John and Lucy Smith)

A civic organization board of directors - (Board of Directors, Smallville Arts Council)

Owners of a downtown business - (John Smith)

Owners of a property - (John Smith)

Governmental council - (Board of Commissioners, Town of Smallville)

Departmental staff (Public Works Staff, Town of Smallville)


Champion nominations ARE NOT:

A municipal entity - (Town of Smallville)

A business - (Nil’s Cafe)

Staff of a business - (Nil's Cafe and Staff)


Local NC Main Street Directors, Click HERE to begin the nomination process

Partners Design Service Request

Design Service Request

About the Design Program

Since March of 2016, the North Carolina Main Street Program has partnered with UNCG’s Interior Architecture Department and its Center for Community-Engaged Design to provide design assistance to designated Main Street and Small Town Main Street communities across the state. Undergraduate and graduate students are selected to become Main Street Fellows.  The Main Street Fellows work with UNCG Interior Architecture Department Professors to complete facade rehabilitation designs and upper story apartment conversions in designated Main Street communities.

Design Request

  • This service is a benefit to our designated NC Main Street & Small Town Main Street communities only
  • Downtown Associate Communities cannot use this service until they move up to NC Main Street designation
  • Speculative projects are not accepted
  • Submit projects where the property owner(s) is highly motivated to implement the design
  • Work closely with your property/business owner(s) to complete the form


Grants Resources



NC State Historic Preservation Office

UNC School of Government

Non Profit Management


Small Business Support

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Content Coming Soon

Maps: Our Work and Resources