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Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

Membership levels

Friends of Main Street

Any community with an identifiable Main Street district and the desire to learn the Main Street Four-Point Approach® can join at this startup level. It provides phone consultations, quarterly trainings, technical assistance a la carte and use of Main Street South Carolina's impact reporting system. 

Classic Main Street

At the more engaged level, Classic Main Street, there are two ways to participate: 

  • Apply for entry and complete three years of Aspiring Main Street training. Annual fees are based on population. This level focuses on providing three years of technical assistance to programs in their formative years. Acceptance allows communities to participate in training, community assessment and receive local capacity building support. After three years, these communities are designated as Classic Main Streets.
  • Accelerated Entry. Communities that can demonstrate that their local program successfully administers the Main Street Four-Point Approach and maintains an annual membership with the National Main Street Center may be accepted without the three-year Aspiring Main Street period. Cities must identify a point of contact/downtown liaison as well as areas of emphasis that are shared with local partners, like an economic development team or a Chamber of Commerce. The organizational/outreach component is not required for a city-driven program, but it is an important component for a nonprofit program.

Benefits available at this level include award program eligibility, use of the National Main Street Center logo, quarterly trainings, executive director training, access to technical resources, eligibility for national conference scholarships, use of state impact reporting system, and annual organizational visits. The community's application must describe the downtown area, historical identity, goals, readiness, support and funding commitments.

Accredited Main Street

Members at the highest level of participation, Accredited Main Street, are members of the National Main Street Center and meet national accreditation standards. Requirements include an annual application demonstrating excellence in administering the Main Street Four-Point Approach as well as mentoring activity with newer programs.

Communities wanting to participate at the Friends of Main Street level and the Accelerated Main Street level are welcome each year. Membership is based on a January – December calendar year. Main Street SC accepts and reviews applications for new Aspiring Main Street members and Accredited Main Street members in the fourth quarter of each calendar year for admission into the program January 1 of the following year.

Friends of 
Main Street
Startup level: Capacity building to help create leadership and community vision

Main Street

Developing level: Apply for three-year training and development commitment; graduate and become Classic Main Street

Main Street
Accelerated level: Local program demonstrates they meet the Four Point Approach. Communities may require additional services in one area to ensure excellence.

Accredited Main Street

Advanced level: Local program goes beyond expectations & meets National Main Street Center accreditation



*fees based upon 

 >5,000  pop.          
$7,500 - Year 1
$5,000 - Year 2
$5,000 - Year 2

5,000-15,000 pop. 
$10,000 - Year 1
$7,500 - Year 2
$7,500 - Year 3

15,000+  pop.    
$12,500 - Year 1
$10,000 - Year 2
$10,000 - Year 3




Telephone consultation

Hiring assistance, upon request 

Discounted rates on training opportunities  

Annual organizational visit  211
Technical services (consultations, planning sessions, board trainings, etc.)

Costs vary depending on service requested

Receive $2,400/year toward requested services

Costs vary depending on service requestedCosts vary depending on service requested

Promotion and Marketing ​

Economic impact featured on MSSC webpage
Award Program Eligibility 
Use of Main Street America logo
with signed agreement


Free Quarterly Training

Executive Director Training, upon request 
Resources and Tools
Use of MSSC reporting system to measure impact
Access to listserv 
Access to technical resources  
Eligible for NMSC Conference Scholarship 

National Membership paid for 3 years     


Identifiable Main Street District
Attend local trainings
Learn the Main Street Approach

Executive Director/Point of Contact
Administer the Main Street ApproachGoal
Submit Economic Data ReportsGoal
Memorandum of Agreement
with City Support
Letter of support by municipality
Diversified and sustainable funding 
Formal application 
Member of National Main Street Center 
Present Annual Program Review   
Meet National Main Street Center 10-point Criteria