Maine Downtown Affiliates
Ideal for communities in the early stages of revitalization
The Maine Downtown Affiliate (MDA) program was launched in 2009. The program helps communities build an appropriate organizational and funding base for an effective downtown/neighborhood commercial district revitalization effort, and introduces them to the fundamentals of the Main Street Four-Point Approach.
MDA members can be a volunteer-led committee of a municipality, a nonprofit organization, or another type of grassroots organization. They learn about best practices in the field, network with peers from around the state, and access training by state and national downtown revitalization experts. MDA is ideal for communities looking to deepen their engagement in historic preservation-based downtown revitalization. Participation in the MDA program is required to become a nationally accredited Main Street Maine community.
Current Maine Downtown Affiliate communities (state designated)
Interested in becoming a Maine Downtown Affiliate?
To be considered as an MDA community, the following criteria must be met:
- A central business district which serves as a center for community interaction and commerce, characterized by a core of historic and/or older commercial and mixed-use buildings. It must have sufficient density of businesses, buildings, and public space to be accessible by people using diverse transportation methods.
- An organized, volunteer-led effort which reflects the community’s make-up and includes a diverse representation of district stakeholders including merchants and service providers, property/building owners, employees, residents, local government, arts and culture organizations, and other community organizations with presence in the downtown.
- A high-level multi-year budget summarizing projected income to cover program costs and achieve specific goals. MDA members must be willing to work toward developing diversified and sustainable program funding including contributions from local government, residents, and local businesses.
- Commitment to following the Main Street Four-Point Approach is a requirement of initial and ongoing participation and is the foundation of all Maine Downtown Center (MDC) assistance. Communities accepted will be asked to sign a Letter of Agreement with the MDC indicating the responsibilities of each party and pay an annual membership fee.
Maine Downtown Center Municipal Members that do not have a volunteer-led downtown revitalization effort in their community pay an annual fee of $500 and have access to free and discounted training and up to 5 hours of technical assistance per year. They do not qualify for any other Affiliate member benefits, nor are they subject to goal setting, event attendance, and reporting requirements. MDC staff are available to support Municipal Members that wish to establish a volunteer-led committee and apply for full Affiliate membership.
Communities that are interested in becoming Maine Downtown Affiliates should attend the information session offered each spring. Applications are due on October 1, with a site visit and interview to follow in November.
Contact Maine Downtown Center Program Director Sylvie Piquet at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.