About the Frontier & Native American Communities Initiative

The Frontier Communities Initiative was established by the New Mexico Legislature and signed into law by Governor Martinez in 2013 for communities under 7,500 in population. Administered by the New Mexico MainStreet program, the initiative is a community economic development partnership for qualifying, catalytic community economic development projects within a traditional or historic commercial district (i.e. court house square, town center or village plaza) or historic commercial corridor.

The proposed project should demonstrate positive impact in job creation, business development or enhanced economic environment for the community. The program provides professional technical assistance to communities selected to participate through an application process. While MainStreet professionals work with the community to identify appropriate funding for the project, the initiative is not a grant program, and direct funding for selected projects is not included with services and resources provided for the project.

Long term goals include project planning, when implementation seeds are planted to expand local capacity to develop “community-builders” – people continuing to work together after the project is finished.  Support networks are created to continue the revitalization work, bolster community pride and identity, preserve cultural heritage, transmit values and history, build economic and social capital, and stimulate economic development.

Projects of past selected communities include:

  • Revitalization plans and metropolitan redevelopment designation tools
  • Façade Squads
  • Branding and image development
  • Historic district designation
  • Adaptive reuse of historic buildings
  • Community park and plaza restorations
  • Entrepreneur  and business development support

Communities currently affiliated with New Mexico MainStreet or the New Mexico Arts & Cultural District Program are not eligible to apply for the Frontier Communities Initiative. The number of Frontier Community projects is contingent upon the annual funding appropriated by the New Mexico Legislature.

For further information please contact: Daniel Gutierrez, MainStreet Director, (505) 827-0151 or daniel.gutierrez2@state.nm.us