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Maine Development Foundation

Maine Downtown Affiliates

Maine Downtown Center

Maine Downtown Affiliates (MDA) was launched in 2009 as a sister program to Main Street Maine using the same Four Points but at a lighter, less rigorous pace. MDA is ideal for communities in the early stages of downtown revitalization as well as for those communities working toward achieving “Main Street” designation. MDA communities are not required to have paid staff.

MDA services help communities build an appropriate organizational and funding base for a comprehensive downtown or neighborhood commercial district revitalization program. Participation as an MDA community does not guarantee selection as a future designated Main Street Maine community. A core feature of the service to MDA communities is access to training by state and national downtown development experts. MDA communities will have the opportunity to learn about best practices in the field and to network with peers from around the state.

Maine Downtown Affiliate Application
Instructions for Maine Downtown Affiliate Application
Sample Tasks for Maine Downtown Affiliate Communities

In June 2009 we welcomed our first MDA communities:

In June 2010 another six communities were added:

  • Belfast (now a Main Street Maine community)
  • Brunswick (now a Main Street Maine community)
  • Damariscotta
  • Dover-Foxcroft
  • Machias
  • Madawaska

In June 2011 we added:

  • Bar Harbor
  • Eastport
  • Houlton
  • Stonington
  • Van Buren

In May 2012 we added:

  • Calais
  • Camden
  • Castine
  • Kennebunk

In May 2013 we added:

  • Kingfield
  • Rumford

In November 2014 we added:

  • Westbrook (now a Main Street Maine community)


To be considered as an MDA community, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Central Business District
    • A traditional central business district and center for socio-economic interaction, characterized by a cohesive core of historic and/or older commercial and mixed-use buildings that represent the community’s architectural heritage.
    • Have a sufficient mass of businesses, buildings, and density to be effective.
    • Compact, easily walkable, and pedestrian-oriented.
  2. Organized Effort
    • A well organized effort that is broad-based and must involve local government and others such as a nonprofit organization, Chambers of Commerce, commercial district organizations, merchant groups, residents, etc.
  3. Sustainable Budget
    • Provide a budget summarizing and identifying your projected income and expense costs to achieve your program goals.
    • MDA communities must be willing to work toward developing diversified and sustainable program funding to accomplish their goals.
  4. Pledge Your Commitment
    • Main Street provides a proven and comprehensive approach specifically designed to address the issues and opportunities of traditional commercial districts. Following the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is a requirement of initial and on-going participation, and is the foundation of all MDC assistance.
    • Representatives must attend at least one MDC training per year to remain active as a member of the Maine Downtown Affiliate. Registration is discounted to encourage strong participation.
    • Communities accepted will be asked to sign a Letter of Agreement with the MDC indicating responsibilities of each and pay a participation fee based on population.

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