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.
About NC Main Street
NC Main Street is a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program. Main Street America™ has helped revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.
The NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center is charged by the NC Department of Commerce to facilitate downtown economic development, using the Main Street America Four Point Approach. NC Main Street staff provide strategic downtown economic development planning, technical assistance, program guidance, education and training that achieves measurable results, including investment, business development, and job growth. 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 NC Main Street program assists selected communities across the state in restoring economic vitality to their historic downtown.
Main Street Program Communities
Current active Main Street communities were selected through a competitive application process. Eligible communities must have had a certified population under 50,000 at the time of their application to the program and committed to hiring a full-time (population 5,000 and over) or part-time (population below 5,000) downtown manager and providing funding for operating the program. The NC Main Street Center will no longer be taking in any new Main Street communities since our organization has restructured the way in which North Carolina communities can become affiliated with the Center for downtown revitalization services (see Downtown Associate Community Program page)
Small Town Main Street Program Communities
Based on the same concepts as the original Main Street program, Small Town Main Street offers downtown revitalization assistance to the state's very smallest communities. Small Town Main Street serves selected towns throughout the state that lack the resources to hire professional downtown managers. The NC Main Street Center team works closely with committees within these communities, providing technical assistance and helping facilitate local initiatives in the areas of organization, design, promotion and economic vitality.
The Small Town Main Street program selected new communities through a competitive application process. Only communities with a certified population of less than 7,500 were eligible to apply. The NC Main Street Center will no longer be taking in any new Small Town Main Street communities since our organization has restructured the way in which North Carolina communities can become affiliated with the Center for downtown revitalization services (see Downtown Associate Community Program page).
About Main Street Solutions Fund
The Main Street Solutions Fund provides economic development planning assistance and coordinated grant support to designated micropolitan located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties and to active North Carolina Main Street communities.
About Rural Planning
Rural Planning staff work throughout the State of North Carolina. Eight are assigned to work in designated Prosperity Zones. Staff members work with municipalities, county governments, and other organizations in rural areas to provide strategic economic development planning, plan implementation services, technical support, and training to help them prepare for and respond to potential economic growth opportunities. Outcomes include improving quality of life and prosperity, building community capacity, and maintaining the character of rural areas.
For a full list of state resources for the eight Prosperity Zones, visit www.nccommerce.com/about-our-department/prosperity-zones-contacts