Main Street is a robust economic development tool that capitalizes on our unique assets and provides a framework for communities to build local resiliency.
In Washington State, the Main Street movement is fueled by the Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP), a statewide program of the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP) managed under contract by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. This program provides capacity building services and technical assistance to 72 towns across the state—ranging from Vancouver to Colville, Dayton to Renton. These local Main Street organizations work tirelessly to support small businesses, create resources and partnerships, and build community.
Sustained Funding for Main Street
In the 2021-23 state budget, the legislature provided DAHP a budget proviso of $700,000 in additional Main Street program funding to increase program staff and enhance the services each of the participating communities receives. The WSMSP was able to double its community services and outreach, thanks to this increase.
To sustain continued recovery and resiliency on Main Street and support the increasing number of communities and small businesses served, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation strongly supports Governor Inslee’s budget, which includes continuing present funding levels for the Washington State Main Street Program for the 2023-25 biennium through an increase in $700,000 over current maintenance level funding.
A Smart Investment
The power of Main Street in Washington State is irrefutable. Not only is Main Street the most effective economic recovery tool our communities have, it also has a proven positive return on investment. A recent Main Street Impact Study demonstrates that for every $1 the state has invested in the program, a return of $1.58 is generated in state revenues—showcasing how Main Street makes economic, fiscal, and social sense as a powerful tool and investment strategy.
Make Your Voice Heard
If you want to make sure that state legislators support DAHP’s funding request for the Washington State Main Street Program, you can help! As a constituent, you can either request a virtual meeting with your legislator or email them your concerns.
As you do your outreach, keep the following points in mind:
- Main Street has a proven positive return on investment. A recent impact study shows that for every $1 the state invests in the program, a return of $1.58 is generated in state revenues, demonstrating how Main Street makes economic, fiscal, and social sense as a powerful tool and investment strategy.
- The 2022 Business Resiliency Study proves that Main Street districts were more resilient through the pandemic because the infrastructure—most importantly the presence of a local Main Street organization supported by the WSMSP—was already in place to support small businesses and rally community members.
- With growing interest in Main Street across the state, the WSMSP has experienced consistently increasing demand for services. Our communities need continual care and access to resources and support to withstand and even thrive within uncertainty.
Feel free to use our email template below and to add in your own stories and testimonials from your community!
To really make these proposals heard, we need your help. Contact your representatives or use the form below to encourage them to support the Washington State Main Street Program in the next state budget.
Simply enter your name and address, and we will match you with your representatives and provide a letter for you to send directly with a few clicks!