Main Street Planning Grants

Washington Main Street Planning Grants are designed to build capacity for local Main Street organizations by offering specialized planning services. Main Street organizations can apply from a menu of planning services offered by professional planners with experience working with Main Street programs.

Applications for the 2024-2025 cycle are due by Monday, August 5 at 5 p.m. We will announce awards in late August, with consultations taking place between October 2024 and June 2025, depending on the grant type and the availability of the planning consultant and the local organization.

We recommend drafting your application responses in advance using this document.

Available Grants

We’re offering three types of planning grants for the 2024-2025 cycle. You can read more about each of these grants below. Chosen grantees will be matched with a consultant who best fits their individual organization’s needs.

  • Strategy Identification
  • Dream Your Downtown
  • Preservation Possibilities

As we wait to hear about our own grant funding, we may not be able to offer as many grants as we have in the past, and we’ve shifted to simplified grant offering (valued at $3,000, regardless of the grant type) as you’ll see below. We encourage you to apply for whichever grant or grants are a good fit for your Main Street right now with a readiness to discuss funding options should you receive a grant.

About the Grants

Strategy Identification

Modeled after Main Street America’s “Transformation Strategy” process, our Strategy Identification grant will support you in developing one or more community-driven strategies to guide your work plan for the next 3-5 years. Working with a consultant over the span of 3-6 months, you’ll gather widespread community vision for downtown and analyze market data to inform an overarching strategy for your Main Street district. The planning services include on-site place-based assessments, focus groups, and board workshop, as well as virtual follow-up services.

Note: The Strategy Identification planning grant is appropriate for Main Street Communities that are pursuing a Transformation Strategy for the first time and those wishing to update Strategies that were identified 3+ years ago.

Applicants may request $3,000, which is approximately 25% of the total project cost (ranging from $9,000-$13,000). (Note: Grantees may opt to pay for additional services, including stakeholder interviews and design of a public-facing plan and communication materials.)

Dream Your Downtown

Modeled after the work of James Rojas and John Kamp, the Dream Your Downtown grant engages downtown stakeholders and community members in an active (and dare we say fun!) visioning process that will not only identify priorities for revitalizing your historic core but the local assets – including people – already in place as a foundation to start building toward your community’s dream for downtown. Working with consultants over the span of 3-4 months, you’ll engage in planning for the one-day “Build Your Dream Downtown” workshop and come away with a wrap-up report and energized residents.

This grant provides $3,000 in technical assistance, with grantees covering the cost of the consultant’s travel (which may range from $1,000-$2,000, depending on location) and any hosting needs (venue, food) for the one-day workshop.

Preservation Possibilities

Do you have a building (or even a block) in your historic downtown that could benefit from preservation planning and possibilities imagining? This planning grant pairs you with DAHP’s State Historical Architect Jeronimo Roldan and Preservation Design Specialist Michelle Thompson for a robust pairing of guidance designed to catalyze building rehabilitation in your downtown. Planning services include on-site building assessment, friendly discussions with property owners and/or city, and (optionally) initial exterior sketches and design ideas to help envision the possibilities.

There are no costs associated with this service (“grant” is a bit of a misnomer for this one!), which will be coordinated as DAHP’s staffing resources allow and based on potential impact of the services as identified in this application process.

Grantee Requirements

  • Designation as a Washington Main Street Community or Affiliate with experience utilizing the Main Street Approach
  • An identified project lead, in addition to the Executive Director
  • Commitment from the local planning team to participate fully for the duration of the planning timeline
  • Secured grantee share of service cost as outlined above
  • Capacity to collect relevant qualitative and quantitative data on impact of service, including collecting pre- and post-services data and completing a post-services report for Washington Main Street
  • Willingness for Washington Main Street to utilize services outcome (plan or project case study) for statewide learning


We recommend drafting your application responses in advance using this document. If you prefer to fill out the application in a separate window, you can do so here.