Let’s revitalize your community, together.

Downtowns and historic commercial districts are the cultural and civic hearts of our communities. They also play an important role in Wisconsin’s overall economy, providing spaces for businesses that create vital employment opportunities. But vibrant Main Streets and community corridors don’t just happen. They require planning, nurturing, interest, and action from many stakeholders who share a vision for the future. WEDC and the Wisconsin Main Street Program can help your community bring that vision to life.

Main Street America Logo
Main Street America Logo
Main Street America Logo

How It Works

When you participate in the Wisconsin Main Street Program, your community will receive intensive technical assistance from WEDC’s downtown development staff and consultants. We’ll help your community identify initiatives, stakeholders, and resources to ensure that you find success. You’ll also receive tailored support for your businesses and property owners, design assistance, and topical solutions for local challenges.

Your participation in the Wisconsin Main Street Program gives you access to the tools you need to ensure your revitalization project is thoughtful, practical, and successful, including:

  • Regional workshops on pertinent topics
  • Annual conference programming
  • Regular webinars and discussion calls
  • Online resource toolkit and best practice guide
  • Regional networking events
  • Staff and board orientation training

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of participants benefit from the Wisconsin Main Street Program?

This program benefits a diverse array of communities by size—from rural towns to urban metro areas—and also by geography, supporting the efforts of both emerging and established revitalization projects.

What is the application and selection process?

Wisconsin Main Street Program applications are accepted annually in the spring, and interviews are held with eligible applicants to determine organization readiness. Up to three new communities are admitted to the program per fiscal year.

What are the program eligibility requirements?

Wisconsin Main Street Program applicants must demonstrate the following:
1. Defined downtown/commercial district
2. Need for assistance
3. Organizational stability
4. Availability of local support and resources
Applicants must also be organizations focused on downtown or urban commercial district issues. The organization must have paid staff and an adequate annual budget for carrying out activities ($40,000 in communities under 5,000 or $70,000 in larger communities).

If my community is accepted into the program, are there requirements during our participation?

Participating organizations must complete annual reporting and meet annual attendance requirements to remain in the Wisconsin Main Street Program.

What are the common outcomes of Wisconsin Main Street Program participation?

Participants commonly report increased storefront occupancy, improved environment and aesthetics, increased property values, and an expanded customer base, among other outcomes.