Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

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We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

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Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

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Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

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Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

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Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

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Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

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Main Street America was proud to recognize Breanne Durham, Director of the Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP) as the 2021 Mary Means Leadership Award recipient. This prestigious award is the organization’s top honor recognizing outstanding leaders in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization and highlighting the critical role that leaders play in shaping the Main Street Movement.

Breanne Durham

Breanne Durham © Washington Main Street Program

Selected by a national jury, Breanne was recognized for her collaborative and visionary approach, which empowers Washington State Main Street leaders to strengthen local economies, preserve historic assets, and work together to revitalize their communities.

Washington State’s Main Street organizations are fortunate to have Breanne at the helm,” said Main Street America’s President and CEO Patrice Frey. Her leadership has motivated Main Street directors to collaborate and innovate to support Washington Main Streets, and the collective effort she inspired has drawn more communities to join the movement and bolstered local economies.”

  • Selfie of three women.

    From left: Breanne Durham, Norma Ramirez de Miess (Main Street America), and Ellen Gamson (Mount Vernon, Washington). © Washington State Main Street Program

  • Five people hold silly poses for a group photo.

    Breanne with her Washington Trust colleagues at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington. © Washington State Main Street Program

Main Street America introduced the Mary Means Leadership Award in 2020 to celebrate the vision and determination of leaders committed to community revitalization — and in 2021, the characteristics required to help Main Streets persist and thrive came into sharper relief. 

The executive directors of all 36 Washington State Main Street communities jointly nominated Breanne for the award, crediting her unflagging encouragement for supporting local groups during the pandemic and motivating them to achieve their goals. With long-term vision and short-term execution, Breanne is both prophet and shepherd in facilitating success for our state’s Main Street communities,” said Chris Moore, executive director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which manages the WSMSP under contract with the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. Her dedication has brought increased interest in Main Street and growth in the number of Main Street programs that now operate in Washington state.”

During her five-year tenure as director, Breanne has established the program as a mainstay within state government. In one of her first initiatives, she conducted an extensive public outreach process that established a clear set of rules for WSMSP’s operation and created much-needed clarity for existing programs and new members. The early success also positioned WSMSP to seek additional funding through the state’s Main Street tax incentive, which allows business owners and local governments to receive a tax credit for donations to Main Street programs. Thanks to Breanne’s advocacy, the legislature voted to expand the cap on the tax credit from $1.5 million to $2.5 million statewide.

A large group of people gather indoors for a photo, some sit on chairs while others stand behind them.

Breanne with the local Washington Main Street executive directors. © Washington State Main Street Program

As a leader, Breanne is creative, encouraging, and collaborative. She has worked with partners at the national and state level to offer trainings to local programs and is a source of new ideas to keep them inspired and connected. Through the development of cohort groups connecting executive directors and board presidents, Breanne also helped build bonds between communities and encouraged volunteer board presidents to remain engaged.

When the pandemic hit, Breanne immediately took action, pulling together a task force from Washington, Oregon, and Iowa to develop an overarching COVID-19 response strategy. This effort helped give Main Street directors the tools to confidently take the lead in their communities and help their small businesses navigate the crisis. Through another partnership with Oregon Main Street, Breanne also organized regular Coffees Online” that brought Washington Main Street directors together to share ideas and encouragement.

In a year when the pandemic devastated small businesses nationwide, Breanne pushed to launch an impact study that powerfully illustrates why Washington’s Main Streets are vital to the state economy. The study shows that from 2011 to 2019, every state dollar invested in Main Street has returned $1.58 to the state in the form of tax revenues — making the case that public and private funding for Main Street programs delivers a significant return on investment.

Through Breanne’s leadership, Washington Main Street programs have proven their value, and Washington’s Main Street directors have become a community. Through her collaborative and visionary approach to leadership, Breanne has generated countless new ideas and connections that have helped jumpstart economic recovery in previously struggling downtowns — and attracted more communities to join the Main Street Movement.