The Main Street Four-Point Approach® works because it is based on simple, straightforward, common-sense principles. Main Street stresses self-reliance and builds on what is special about a downtown as the center of community.
The following principles are the basis of the Main Street Four-Point Approach:
A single project cannot revitalize a downtown or commercial neighborhood. An ongoing series of initiatives is vital to build community support and create lasting progress.
Small projects make a big difference. They demonstrate that "things are happening" in downtown and hone the skills and confidence the program will need to tackle more complex projects.
Main Street South Carolina can provide valuable direction and technical assistance, but only local leadership can create long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.
Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in the district and must work together to achieve common goals of revitalization. Each sector has a role to play and each must understand the other's strengths and limitations in order to forge an effective partnership.
Business districts must capitalize on the assets that make them unique. Every district has unique qualities like distinctive buildings and human scale that give people a sense of belonging. These local assets must serve as the foundation for all aspects of the revitalization program.
From storefront design to promotional campaigns to special events, quality must be emphasized.
Changing community attitudes and habits is essential to bring about a commercial district renaissance. A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.
Frequent visible changes in the look and activities of the commercial district will reinforce the perception of positive change. Small but dramatic improvements early in the process will remind the community that the revitalization effort is underway.