The Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP) has awarded four of its Affiliate programs – the City of Buckley, Ferndale Downtown Association, LaCrosse Community Pride, and the Downtown Pullman Association – grants totaling nearly $150,000 through the Affiliate Capacity Building Grant Program.

The new grant program was established earlier this year by the state legislature as a pilot project meant to provide the financial spark needed to fund a staff position that many Main Street Affiliates, especially in rural areas, find a challenge to meet when their volunteer boards are working at capacity on downtown revitalization. The grant funds may go toward staffing costs, capacity building, and other costs associated with establishing a local nonprofit organization focused solely on downtown revitalization. In addition to the grant funds, the four awardees will receive support services from the Washington State Main Street Program designed to increase their readiness for leading a search and hiring process through onboarding and to help lay the foundation for the new director’s success as leader, manager, and executer of work.

“This investment in Main Street Affiliates will strengthen their organizations and positively impact their communities,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. “We have seen time and time again that people are the power behind locally-driven revitalization efforts and a dedicated staff member can be transformative.”

While this is the inaugural award cycle for the pilot program, the Main Street Approach™ has a long tradition of increasing a sense of community and preserving unique local culture in Washington’s historic downtowns. Four years after the Main Street Approach™ was founded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Washington Main Street Program was established to support local communities in Washington State. A recent study reviewing WSMSP’s impact from 2011-2019 found that the program generated an additional $550.3 million in sales for businesses across the state and 6,405 jobs at such businesses.

The WSMSP is a program of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, managed under contract by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. WSMSP represents a diversity of 66 small towns and major cities across the state.

For more information, please contact Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director, at the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at bd*****@pr********.org or 206-624-9449.