At the beginning of this year, Main Street South Carolina, the Municipal Association’s downtown revitalization technical assistance program, opened up multiple membership options for the first time. Here are the levels, which can allow the program to better meet communities’ specific needs.
Friends of Main Street level
Friends of Main Street is a startup level, designed for communities working to build up the resources they’ll need for a sustained downtown improvement push, and it has a budget-friendly fee. Friends of Main Street can use phone consultations, come to quarterly trainings and pay for technical assistance on an as-needed basis.
The City of Dillon joined at this level, and Bridget Thornton, Dillon's downtown coordinator, is using Main Street SC to learn how to align the local program for success.
Main Street SC, she said, “has helped us establish specific goals within a set timeframe and establish transparency through public input. As a member, I now feel confident that I have the tools and resources needed as we build our best Dillon.”
Aspiring Main Street level
A formal three-year training and support program, Aspiring Main Street has an application process and fees based on population. After completion, the participant community is designated a Classic Main Street.
This is an option for well-developed revitalization programs to become a Classic Main Street. These communities must show they meet the standards of the Main Street Four-Point Approach and must maintain an annual membership with the National Main Street Center.
Main Street SC recently welcomed Greenwood at this level.
Lara Hudson, Uptown Greenwood manager, said “the revitalization Uptown Greenwood underwent over the past 10 years provided many opportunities for growth and development of our Uptown district. We are now at a pivotal place. By joining Main Street SC, using the Four-Point Approach and networking with other Main Street SC communities, we can successfully take our Uptown to the next level and see continued economic success for years to come.”
Accredited Main Street level
This is the highest level of participation, requiring membership in the National Main Street Center, meeting national accreditation standards and submitting an annual application demonstrating excellence with the Four-Point Approach. Also, these members are required to mentor newer programs in South Carolina.
Learn more about Main Street SC membership by contacting Jenny Boulware at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.354.4792.