311 for Cities: Incentives to Support Main Street Businesses

How To, Guide, or Manual National Resource Network March 30, 2015 Economic Development

In March 2015, a city submitted a request through the National Resource Network’s 311 for Cities feature asking about the most common and innovative incentives available to support main street businesses. The following write-up was researched, developed, and shared with the city by the Network to highlight a variety of resources, programs, and incentives cities can use to support main streets.

Across the United States, the National Trust for Historical Preservation – through its National Main Street Center program – advocates a Four‐Point Approach: 1) organize stakeholders; 2) promote the community; 3) design a safer and more attractive space; and 4) develop through new business attraction and conversation of underutilized properties. While this is a nationally recognized approach, the Network also cited other research for the city to consider, including critiques and assessments of the Four-Point Approach.

311 for Cities launched with the Network in 2014 and – at its peak – was available to more than 600 cities around the country. Local government staff in these communities could submit a question on any challenge they were facing and the Network team would develop a written response highlighting recent research, relevant case studies and best practices. This is one of those responses. The Network no longer offers 311 for Cities, but please contact us at info@nationalresourcenetwork.org if you think we can be of help to your community.

311 for cities main street

311 for Cities: Incentives to Support Main Street Businesses