Main Street Planning Grants

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

Applications are due by Friday, February 11 at 5 p.m.

We will announce awards in late February, with consultations likely starting in early March and concluding no later than June 30, 2022.

Available Grants

Racial Equity in Place Management

Crucial to any Main Street’s success is an understanding of their cultural identity. Starting with the question of “What’s important to you?” and working with BDS Planning over a timeline of 8 weeks, your organization will engage in a combination of training and strategic planning that will come together to construct a participatory, comprehensive, strategic, and implementable plan that is tailored to your own community’s culture, history, and needs. You can review various projects BDS has consulted on here. This grant covers 75% of the $10,000 planning services. (Aligns chiefly with Outreach/Organization)

You can review various projects BDS has consulted on here.

Applicants may request a maximum of $7,500 in grant funding and must provide a 1:4 match to the grant received, meaning grantees must provide at least 25% of the total project cost of $10,000.

90-day Place Activation Initiative

The design of public spaces (e.g., streets, parks, plazas) directly impacts and influences the economic vitality, quality of place, access, and the livelihood or ‘staying power’ of Main Streets. The 90-Day Planning Grant allows for facilitated workshops to help WA Main Street Programs advance a place vision and change strategy by taking incremental steps to public realm design. Working with Terra Soma through a two-part training over a span of 3 months, the 90-Day Place Activation Planning Grant allows for WMS Communities to assemble a team and work toward a 90-day plan to execute a place activation initiative of their choosing for their downtown district. Download the Place Activation resource guide for more information.

The grant is focused on leadership development, partnership development, actionable strategies, and early successes. Virtual coaching, over three months, will help your group develop a 90-day Place Activation Vision, Implementation Plan, and Place Stewardship (management) Framework as you engage in workshops on visioning, goal setting, and developing actionable strategies; defining team roles and delegating work; navigating design, communications, community participation, and policy and permitting; readying for the roll out. The project lead will be supported with ongoing email communications. (Aligns chiefly with Promotions/Design)

This grant provides $3,000 in technical assistance from Terra Soma, with grantees covering the cost of the local place activation project (projects can range from $2,500 to $15,000).

Economic Vitality Grants

Recognizing that each Main Street organization is at a different place in their Economic Vitality journey, we are offering a grant with Downtown Professionals Network whose outlook will be tailored to each community.

For those looking to deepen their EV work, the DPN’s 3-month Market Study Services will help you dig into demographic, psychographic and retail sales gap data in your downtown, including designing and reviewing customer and business surveys, facilitating local planning sessions, and defining a cohesive and actionable EV plan.

For those ready to take the next step, DPN’s 3-to-4-month Ready to Recruit (R2R) services help communities, organizations, and economic development professionals create, fine-tune, or take the scope of their business retention, development, and recruitment efforts to a new level. Services include a mix of local research activities, technical assistance, and training to position local Main Street staff and leaders for business development and recruitment success.

Applicants may request a maximum of $7,500 in grant funding and must provide a 1:4 match to the grant received, meaning grantees must provide at least 25% of the total project cost of approximately $10,000 (depending on the exact services).

Grantee Requirements

  • Designation as a Washington Main Street with experience utilizing the Main Street Approach
  • An identified project lead, ideally someone who is not 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


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