The Main Street Program

Encouraging economic development within the context of historic preservation.

As part of its organizing efforts, the Renton Downtown Partnership is utilizing the national “Main Street” model. The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a community-driven, comprehensive program used to revitalize older, traditional business districts throughout the United States. It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that face traditional business districts.

The underlying premise of the Main Street Four-Point Approach is to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation in ways appropriate to today’s marketplace. This approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets:  distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.

In our state, the Washington State Main Street Program provides assistance to communities that utilize the Main Street Four-Point Approach in forming and operating their downtown revitalization programs. The Renton Downtown Partnership is currently working with the state program to receive recognition as a Main Street community. These efforts include forming four volunteer committees to focus on the four points of focus to carry out the Main Street Approach:  Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Development.

By working with the state’s program, the Renton Downtown Partnership will not only have access to a proven revitalization program, but local businesses will also be able to direct the use of their taxes to fund revitalization programs in Renton’s Downtown. The Main Street Tax Credit Program, expected to be available in Renton in 2016, will allow local businesses to make contributions to support the Renton Downtown Partnership and then be eligible for a state Business & Occupation tax credit worth 75% of the contribution. Funds received through the tax credit program can be used to fund training programs, marketing efforts, events, building and public improvements, organization staff, and beautification efforts in Downtown.

Click on the links to learn more about the Main Street Model, the Main Street Four-Point Approach, the Washington State Main Street Program, and the Main Street Tax Credit Program.

Main Street Overview