The Main Street Approach® is a community-driven, comprehensive method used to revitalize older, traditional business districts. Main Street programs advocate 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.
Key to the Main Street Approach® are four points:
ORGANIZATION involves building a framework that is represented by business and property owners, bankers, citizens, business associations, and public officials. Everyone works together to see revitalization occur.
PROMOTION creates excitement for the district. Street festivals, parades, retail events, and identity development are ways to encourage new customer traffic. Promotion involves marketing an enticing image to investors, shoppers, and visitors.
DESIGN enhances the attractiveness of the business district. Historic building rehabilitation, new development, street clean-up, banners, landscaping and lighting all improve the physical setting of a business district as a quality place to shop, work, walk and invest in.
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING involves analyzing market forces to develop long-term solutions to revitalization. New businesses, creative use of space, and sharpened competitiveness are outcomes of a more vital business district.

In addition to the four points, Portland Main Street® highlights SUSTAINABILITY as a core value through the support of local businesses and environmental stewardship.

Hillsdale Community Foundation has five standing committees, each dedicated to one of the above points and/or core value.

The National Main Street Center Inc.’s experience in helping communities bring their commercial corridors back to life has shown time and time again that the Main Street Four-Point Approach succeeds. That success i guided by the following eight principles:
Comprehensive: For successful, sustainable, long-term revitalization, a comprehensive approach is essential.
Incremental: Change happens slowly, so including small, simple activities that demonstration “new things are happening” is crucial.
Self-Help: Local leaders must have the will and desire to mobilize local resources and talent.
Partnerships: Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in a successful revitalization effort.
Identifying & Capitalizing on Existing Assets: Business districts must capitalize on the assets that make them unique.
Quality: Emphasize quality in every aspect of the revitalization program.
Change: Change includes engaging in better business practices, altering ways of thinking, and improving the physical appearance of the commercial district.
Implementation: To succeed, Main Street must who visible results that can only come from completing projects.

For more information about the National Main Street Center, Inc. and the Main Street Approach, click here.