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Application Process

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Main Street Alabama Application Workshops explain the criteria and the process for applying to become a Main Street Alabama Designated Community and describe the assistance Main Street Alabama can offer to position downtown revitalization programs for success by implementing the nationally recognized Main Street Four-Point Approach® for downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization. A unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging their unique assets, from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.

The next round of Application Workshops will be held in January 2022.



    In order for applications to be reviewed and considered by the Main Street Alabama Selection Committee, the following eligibility requirements must be met:

  • Have an existing organization or commit to establish an organization responsible for the Main Street Program. This organization must have broad community support with evidence of a public/private partnership, a board of directors or advisory board, and a committee structure.
  • Have the ability to fund a paid Main Street Manager (documented funding is required). Full time for cities over 5,000 and at least part time (20 hours) for cities under 5,000.
  • Each community must be a member of Main Street Alabama’s Downtown Network in good standing at the time of application. In addition, each community agrees to join at the Main Street Program fee scale at the time of designation.
  • Willingness to sign and adhere to all conditions set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Main Street Alabama Association (Available upon request).

    Each application will be judged based upon the following criteria. In addition, each application will be judged on its completeness of content.

  • Evidence of a strong public/private understanding and commitment to the Main Street philosophy and methodology.
  • Evidence of local public and private sector financial support of the Main Street Program.
  • Level of commitment to hire a full-time Main Street Manager that will work in the designated project area.
  • Potential and capacity for successful implementation of the Main Street Program.
  • Evidence of historic fabric.
  • Geographic distribution of cities.

    A successful Main Street Program requires dedication and hours of hard work. Experience has shown that often new applicants do not realize the amount of time that will be required of volunteers in order to implement a successful program. It is essential that the board members realize what is expected of them; therefore, below is an estimate of the time requirements involved. Many of these meetings are mandatory for the manager and board members to attend as well. Keep these factors in mind as you select your working Board of Directors.

    1. Main Street Alabama Requirements
    • Orientation
    • Board member training
    • Development of vision, goals and objectives and annual work plan
    • Program assessment visits
    • Other meetings as deemed necessary
    • Quarterly Manager Training
    2. Local Requirements
    • Local board and committee work
    • Manager participation in all MSA's Trainings and Workshops.

    In addition to completing the questionnaire, each application must contain:

  • One set of twenty five (25) color photos on a CD of designated area buildings and streetscapes. Each image should be labeled with the name of the city and number. The number should key the image to a description sheet giving the building's address, the direction from which the photo was taken (north, south, etc.), and a brief explanation of why this shot was included.CD’s BECOME THE PROPERTY OF MAIN STREET ALABAMA PROGRAM FOR FUTURE USE AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY THE STATE COORDINATOR.
  • The original signed application form and attachments plus five copies of the form and all attachments. Each copy should include these attachments:
    • A resolution passed by the municipal governing body showing support for the Main Street Program (we will provide a sample).
    • List of all city council/commissioners. Include names, addresses, and phone numbers.
    • Letters and resolutions of support for the Main Street Program from merchants, property owners, organizations, institutions, and citizens indicating their willingness to work with and support the local program.
    • Articles of incorporation of applicant organization or agency (unless applicant is the municipality).
    • Certification of full first year funding for the local program (see sample 2 attached.)
    • For private sector funding or partial private funding, a list of pledges for the first year funding.
    • Completed itemized budget for the first year (see sample 3 attached). The program budget shall address at least the following: salary and benefits for a full-time manager and allowance for office rent, telephone, utilities, office supplies, part-time secretarial services, promotions, car allowance and travel.NOTE: Main Street Managers salaries should be in proportion to other similar professionals in your region taking into account the size of the community and cost of living. Be generous with the travel budget, the manager will have to travel to manager training and manager meetings and also have sufficient funds to travel to at least one in-state and one out-of-state professional conference annually.
    • A description sheet which provides the information indicated in A.1. color photographic images.
    • A map (s) of the community showing:
      • 1. Boundaries of the official Business District; boundaries of the proposed Main Street Program area, and the location of nearby commercial centers, malls, and tourist attractions.
      • 2. Boundaries of any local, state, or federally designated historic districts, community development or urban renewal areas within the downtown or adjacent areas.
      • A land use of area and adjacent area showing boundaries of existing zoning districts.
    • Any existing plans, studies or surveys which support the need for a revitalization program.

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