FAQ's

Learn More About Our Main Street Program

Downtown BuildingWhat is the Monroeville Main Street program?

Monroeville Main Street is a nonprofit organization that seeks to stimulate downtown revitalization through the proven model of the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, organization (encouraging cooperation and building leadership in the business community); promotion (creating a positive image for downtown by promoting it as an exciting place to live, shop and invest); design (improving downtown’s appearance); and economic vitality (receiving, administering and distributing funds supporting these purposes).

Monroeville was selected to participate after a very competitive process by Main Street Alabama, whose motto is Creating Jobs, Keeping Character. See what other communities in Alabama who have adopted the Main Street Program are accomplishing here .

What is the Main Street Four-Point Approach®?

Monroeville Main Street and Main Street Alabama use a proven model that has produced impressive results in many other states, the Main Street Four-Point Approach®: Organization, Promotion, Design, Economic Vitality. This method helps revitalize districts by leveraging local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The four points work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort.

Organization

Organization establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in our commercial district. By getting everyone working toward the same goal, Monroeville Main Street can provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy for our downtown. Through volunteer recruitment and collaboration with partners representing a broad cross section of the community, our program can incorporate a wide range of perspectives into its efforts. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among stakeholders.

Promotion

Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image that will rekindle community pride and improve consumer and investor confidence in our commercial district. Advertising, retail promotions, special events, and marketing campaigns help sell the image and promise of Main Street to the community and surrounding region. Promotions communicate downtown Monroeville’s unique characteristics, businesses, and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.

Design

Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors. It takes advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in a commercial district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to these visual elements, conveys a positive message about our commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the district's physical appearance through the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, educating business and property owners about design quality, and long-term planning.

Economic Vitality

Economic vitality strengthens our community's existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base, by retaining and expanding successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners, and attracting new businesses that our market can support. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. The goal is to build a district that responds to the needs of today's consumers.

How will we apply the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to Monroeville?

The statewide coordinating program, Main Street Alabama, provides direct technical services, networking, and training opportunities to the Monroeville Main Street program. Join one of our committees to learn how we work and to bring your time and talents to our approach.

How does a Main Street program work?

Main Street programs are locally driven, funded, organized, and run to preserve character and create jobs in financially struggling historic districts. They are independent nonprofits or city agencies located in the community and affiliated with the statewide coordinating Main Street network.

Who pays for the Main Street program?

Financial support for the program comes from downtown stakeholders: local city government, merchants, businesses, and the public. The success of the Main Street program lies in the fact that it is a local initiative, both organizationally and financially. We want people who care about the success of the program to become involved. Learn more about becoming a charter member here

How long does a local Main Street program last?

Perpetually. Commercial revitalization is an ongoing process. Just as shopping centers have full-time staff that work constantly to ensure proper leasing, management, and marketing, downtown and neighborhood commercial districts need ongoing attention, too. To ensure continuing economic success, Main Street programs are ongoing.

What can Monroeville Main Street do for me?

Monroeville Main Street members will have access to promotion and events designed to bring customers inside their businesses and increase sales. Committee members will have the power to suggest and influence ideas that directly affect the revitalization of our downtown district. Property owners will benefit from increased leasing opportunities as businesses grow. Residents and visitors will benefit from the collaboration of downtown merchants celebrating special events with unique inventory and extended hours.

How can I participate?

Become a member and join a committee. We want everyone with a stake in the commercial district and its future to be involved. Merchants, property owners, economic development groups, the chamber of commerce, industries, local government, and private citizens all benefit from a healthy local economy and from a historic core that reflects Monroeville’s heritage and personality. A sound partnership that seeks input from many different voices is crucial to our success.

A 1988 study of successful downtown revitalization programs in America, conducted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Center and the Urban Land Institute, found that programs funded primarily by local sources were much more likely to succeed than those that relied heavily on state or federal funds. It is also important for both the public and private sectors to support the program, thereby demonstrating their commitment to its goals.

What else can I do?

Support downtown businesses, from seasonal farmer’s market vendors to second-and-third generation stores. Encourage our local leaders to apply the Main Street Approach to their own buildings and to participate in Monroeville Main Street events. Persuade them to view traditional commercial buildings as an asset to our community and to see downtown as an area full of opportunity to renew Monroeville’s sense of identity, history, and place.