An official website of the State of Oregon
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Downtowns are traditionally the heart of a community – the social, economic, and civic center. Many of our downtowns in Oregon are “diamonds in the rough" that need a little polishing to sparkle once again. Others are vibrant and want to maintain their competitive advantage. Oregon Main Street is here to help communities wherever they are in their downtown revitalization efforts. We provide support to organizations who are ready to roll-up their sleeves; develop a vision for how they want their downtown to look, feel, and function; and then attract the people and financial resources to bring about the change they want to see happen. We accomplish this by providing training and technical assistance to communities participating in the Main Street Track of the Oregon Main Street Network, and by access to the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant which funds building improvement projects that spur economic development for all Network communities (available once per biennium in odd years).
Oregon Main Street is a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program.
Main Street America™ has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Oregon Main Street is a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program. We help communities participating in our Network to make use of the time-tested Main Street Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by Main Street America™ which includes:
The Oregon Main Street Network is comprised of communities around the state who participate at one of these tiers.
See the full list of participating communities and their tiers here.
We are excited to announce our strategic plan designed to engage our mission to "Support local efforts to create welcoming, sustainable, and livable communities respectful of community heritage."
For communities participating in the Main Street Track, the boundaries or primary focus area of the organization must be that of a traditional downtown or neighborhood commercial district. A “traditional downtown" or “traditional neighborhood commercial district" is defined as a grouping of 20 or more contiguous commercial parcels containing buildings of historical or architectural significance. The area must have been zoned, planned, built, or used for commercial purposes for more than 50 years. This area must be:
In general, districts containing newer low-density automobile-oriented commercial development (e.g., sprawl), strip malls, and enclosed shopping/entertainment centers will not qualify for designation unless they are fully integrated into the fabric of a traditional “Main Street district."
There is an application process for communities who want to join the Oregon Main Street Network.
For the Main Street Track, the applicant is typically an independent nonprofit organization that is focused on downtown.
Local government is commonly the applicant at the Associate level, but it can also be and existing nonprofit organization.
OMS staff is available to help a community decide where to house their local main street effort.
Applications to join the Oregon Main Street Network at the Designated Main Street and Affiliated Main Street tiers are now closed for 2023. Applications for the 2024 cycle will reopen in November of 2023.Communities who are newly interested in the program are encouraged to first join as a Connected Community. Applications for Connected Communities are accepted on a rolling basis. Use this application to apply at this tier.
2022 Impact of Oregon's Main Streets Report
The Impact of Oregon’s Main Streets report shares the story of how the Oregon Main Street Network strengthens community networks, bolsters the economy, generates state and local tax revenue, and fosters social connections across the state. The report includes the economic, fiscal, and community impacts of the key programmatic efforts of Oregon’s Main Streets, including:• Historic Preservation• Economic Development and Resiliency• Tourism and Customer Attraction• Placemaking and Public Realm Improvements• Partnerships and Program OperationsThe report quantifies the impact of the network between 2011 and 2021, leveraging data provided by local program leaders of Main Street programs, state budgetary figures, Reinvestment Statistics, and IMPLAN, an industry-leading impact modeling platform. Findings in the report reflect the impacts of Performing Main Streets, Transforming Downtowns, and Exploring Downtowns. The Impact of Oregon’s Main Streets Report highlights the many ways local Main Streets are preserving, sustaining, and enhancing their downtown communities under the leadership of Oregon Main Street.
Oregon Main Street has collected data from our top two tiers of the Main Street Network since 2010.
You can see the most recent statistics and other highlights from 2021 by viewing our 2021 Oregon Main Street Annual Report.
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