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The Illinois Main Street Program 

If you are interested in becoming an Illinois Main Street community, please download a letter of intent and application form.

Illinois Main Street is part of a successful national movement to revitalize America's traditional downtowns, neighborhood business districts, and urban corridors. Illinois Main Street gives value as it works with Illinois’ communities to provide technical and consultative assistance, training and resources to improve the economic, social, cultural and physical aspects of each unique commercial area. Illinois Main Street communities use the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to revitalize their local business districts.

Developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, Main Street now works in over 1,700 communities located throughout 46 states. The Main Street Four-Point Approach® helps develop strong, broadly-based local organizations that effectively and incrementally implement the revitalization process by building their local capacity to do their local Main Street work.

Main Street encourages partnerships with local stakeholders, who support the local program, to build the local community and to foster economic development while maintaining the unique, historic character of each district. Most of all, Main Street offers a practical, comprehensive methodology for commercial district revitalization and advocates local self-reliance.

The Illinois Main Street program is administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency provides design services, and Lt Governor Sheila Simon serves as ambassador. With this partnership, the Office of Regional Economic Development at DCEO serves as Illinois' state coordinating program and works with Illinois Main Street communities. DCEO staff provides organization, promotion, and economic restructuring services to the local Main Street programs, while IHPA provides design training and support services. Through the efforts of DCEO and IHPA, each Illinois Main Street community can draw upon the significant expertise of both agencies. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon represents the Illinois Main Street program as she travels the state, promoting economic development in support of local communities. In 2011, Illinois Main Street rolled out a new logo representing the rich architectural history and commerce featured throughout Illinois Main Street communities.