Excellence on Main Award Categories

Organizational Excellence

This award is designed to recognize excellence in the areas related to building a strong downtown revitalization organization while achieving consensus and cooperation among stakeholder groups. Nominations should be made for organizations that have taken steps to ensure the creation of a vital downtown district through a strong volunteer structure, long-term fundraising plan, and communication regarding the importance of downtown revitalization to the larger community.

Community Partnership

This award is designed to recognize a Main Street program and partner(s) who have demonstrated the highest and best degree of cooperation to benefit downtown revitalization efforts. Please be sure to identify the partners, how the relationship was formed, and how the partners worked together. Also include a description of the project undertaken, including scope, location, planning, fundraising, etc. Include photos of the project and/or partnership in action.

Outstanding Promotional Event

Nominations should be made for creative and effective image campaigns, special events or other promotional projects that market to and attract people to the downtown or neighborhood commercial district. Please include information about the target audience, goal of the event and how it’s grown, or if this is a first-year event, how was it embraced by the community; what role local businesses played, and significant in-kind donations and sponsorships (and how they were attained). Please attach posters, flyers, and/or image materials (if appropriate).

Bricks & Mortar Rehabilitation

This award is designed to recognize building owners or programs that positively impact preservation efforts. This may include façade improvements, restoration projects, adaptive reuse, and more. Important factors to highlight include quality, historic preservation, creativity, and impact within budget or constraints. Please provide a brief history of the building (if appropriate), its significance to the community, and how the project benefits the Main Street district. Were financial incentives, including tax credits, used? How was the Main Street program involved with the project? Please include before and after photos of the project.

Sustainable Future

The greenest building is one that is already built. As such, downtown districts are uniquely poised to be community leaders by innovating sustainable and environmental practices. This award is designed to recognize projects that focused on innovative building practices, land use, energy efficiency, transportation, reuse and recycling, and the increased quality of life of residents and users of downtown. Project examples include community-share programs (i.e. a bike-share or urban garden), the development of parks and green space, and property rehabilitation projects that emphasized sustainable practices. Please include information about the project goal, community impact, images and other supporting material.

Entrepreneur of the Year

This award is designed to recognize the innovation, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by our entrepreneurs and small businesses. Nominations should be made for a business located in the downtown or neighborhood commercial district that has increased its volume of business, expanded operations and demonstrated a strong commitment to downtown revitalization. Please describe the business’s history with the local Main Street program, examples of its involvement in downtown revitalization and how the business exemplifies the best in quality, merchandising, and community spirit. Please include photos of the nominated business.

Economic Vitality

This award is designed to recognize economic enhancement efforts within the downtown district. Nominations should be made for projects that have resulted in substantially improving the economic vitality of the district including job creation and retention, sales growth, profitability and reinvestments, increased assets and an influx of new dollars from outside the area. Include information that describes the goals of the enhancement plan and how they were realized due to actions by the Main Street Network organization. Describe how the organization facilitated the development and implementation of the plan/goals. Please include before and after data or other clear evidence of the success of the economic enhancement plan.

Outstanding Special Project

Nominations should be made for those special projects that don’t quite fit into the other categories. Fundraising activities, customer service programs, etc. would fall under this category. Also included would be great one-time projects or activities that affect a downtown or neighborhood commercial district revitalization effort. Please share the goals of the project and how they were met or exceeded.

Legacy on Main Award

A small business can be our sharpest connection to our sense of place, especially when it has stood the test of time, embraced generations of community members, and reaches outside its four walls. Nominations toward this category should be longstanding and independent small businesses that have made significant contributions to community character and serve as cultural anchors for their community.

Leadership on Main Award

Leadership is at the heart of community building. This award recognizes an individual who has shown extraordinary dedication to his or her local Main Street over a significant period of time. Nominees may be committee volunteers, board members, program staff, or other community leaders involved in the Main Street program. Their leadership – in terms of expertise, commitment, and focus on empowering others – should be clearly demonstrated in the nomination.

Standout Volunteer

We know that Main Streets are only as strong as their volunteer leaders. Washington Main Street is pleased to add this new, non-competitive category to its annual Excellence on Main Awards, as a way for local Main Street programs to recognize their outstanding volunteers. You may nominate just one individual per year to be recognized at the Excellence in Main awards reception (their attendance is encouraged, but not required) and in subsequent promotional materials. 

The Excellence on Main Award

This award recognizes outstanding projects and people that reflect an attitude of perseverance and dedication to community revitalization in Washington and will be presented to one community, organization or individual each year. Awardees lead by example, expand economic development opportunities, enhance quality of life and foster healthy, vibrant and diverse communities. This is the highest honor the Washington State Main Street Program can bestow.

New in 2020: The Excellence on Main Award will be selected by the awards committee out of the full pool of nominations received in all other categories.