MainStreet Program

The New Mexico MainStreet Program (NMMS) fosters economic revitalization in the state by supporting local MainStreet organizations and their work in downtowns and adjacent neighborhoods. The Program provides resources, education, training and services that stimulate the economic vitality of each participating community while preserving and enhancing the built environment, culture and heritage.

As a grassroots, asset-based economic development program, NMMS assists communities in revitalizing their traditional and/or historic commercial districts. A program of the Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet works throughout the state to help affiliated organizations create an economically-viable business environment that retains local cultural and historic resources. MainStreet is a consensus-building program which enhances community pride, helps stabilize the district economy to prevent revenue leakage, encouraging the growth of small businesses, consequently enhancing local employment and income opportunities, tax revenues, property values and general quality of life.

The MainStreet Program provides resources and services that stimulate the economic vitality of each participating community while celebrating local heritage and culture. MainStreet Program Associates provide free training sessions and in-field consultation on town design, promotion and publicity, organization, and economic positioning. New Mexico MainStreet also sponsors architecture and community planning projects in member communities through the University of New Mexico Design Planning and Assistance Center (DPAC) and economic structural analysis of the district through the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

New Mexico MainStreet is affiliated with the National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Program works within the National Main Street Center's established Four-Point Approach® customized to meet local needs and opportunities.

Since 1985, New Mexico MainStreet has been helping local communities revitalize their downtown commercial districts with remarkable results. Thousands of jobs have been created and millions of dollars in private funds have been invested in New Mexico’s Main Streets since the program began.

From January to December 2014, MainStreet Districts statewide saw the creation of 118 net new businesses, and 612 net new jobs, and the generation of $8,569,719 in private sector reinvestment.

In February 2014, New Mexico MainStreet released In the New Mexico Tradition: The Impacts of MainStreet 1985-2013, produced by PlaceEconomics of Washington DC. The report presents the tremendous success of the MainStreet program statewide through 28 years of compiled data. Major findings include:

  • More than $1 billion has been invested in MainStreet districts, more than half of that from the private sector.
  • These projects have generated an average of 430 New Mexico jobs and over $11 million in paychecks every year.
  • For every $1 the taxpayers of New Mexico have invested in the state MainStreet program, the private sector has invested $44.50 locally in MainStreet communities.
  • Conservatively, the private sector investment in MainStreet district buildings brings in an additional $5.1 million in local tax revenues each year.

Currently, there are 28 affiliates of New Mexico MainStreet: Albuquerque (Barelas, DowntownABQ and Nob Hill), Alamogordo, Artesia, Belen, Carlsbad, Clayton, Clovis, Corrales, Deming, Farmington, Gallup, Grants, Harding County, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Lovington, Portales, Raton, Roswell, Silver City, South Valley (Bernalillo County),Taos, Truth or Consequences, Tucumcari and the Pueblo of Zuni.


New Mexico MainStreet Map of Communities
MainStreet Map of Communities 2014

To find out more about New Mexico MainStreet, contact Rich Williams, Director of New Mexico MainStreet, (505) 827-0168 or

About the MainStreet Approach

New Mexico MainStreet member communities focus their efforts on these areas, known as the Four-Point Approach®. This proven economic development strategy is a comprehensive method for successful community revitalization:

  1. Organization - establishing consensus and cooperation by building effective relationships among the community’s stakeholders
  2. Economic Restructuring (or Economic Positioning) - strengthening the MainStreet district existing economic assets and fulfilling its broadest market potential
  3. Design - enhancing the unique visual quality of the MainStreet district to create an appealing environment
  4. Promotion - creating and marketing a positive image based on the unique attributes of the Main Street district

New Mexico MainStreet Program Brochure: The Main Street Four-Point Approach®

Eight Guiding Principles

In the nearly three decades of Main Street’s history in the U.S., the National Main Street Center, Inc. has identified eight essential guiding principles that local MainStreet organizations must embrace to be successful.

  1. Comprehensive - For successful, sustainable, long-term revitalization, a comprehensive approach including activity in each of MainStreet’s Four Points is essential.
  2. Incremental - Over time, small successes can lay the groundwork for larger ones, leading to more ambitious projects tackling complex issues.
  3. Self-Help - No one else can save your Main Street. Long-term local commitment is what must sustain revitalization.
  4. Partnerships - Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in the future of downtown and must work together to achieve common goals.
  5. Existing Assets - Business districts must capitalize upon their unique qualities, like distinctive buildings and anchor businesses.
  6. Quality - All aspects of a MainStreet project must reflect quality if downtown is to become competitive again; shoe-string budgets and “cookie-cutter” efforts can send a negative image.
  7. Change - Changes in the physical environment, business practices, and perceptions of downtown are essential to support and sustain the revitalization process.
  8. Implementation - Frequent, visible projects are a reminder that the revitalization effort is underway and succeeding. Completed projects create confidence in the local MainStreet organization and build greater levels of participation.