Montana Main Street

Program Tier System


The Montana Main Street Tier System allows member communities to engage in long-range planning and downtown revitalization at three distinct levels. Participant communities enter the program into a tier system as an affiliate member with the capability of gradually progressing to a Designated or Certified level.

Affiliate Community

The Affiliate Community tier allows all eligible communities the opportunity to learn and develop the Main Street Four Point Approach™ while accessing the resources and services of the program network. This tier is designed for communities entering the program and in the early stages of organization and capacity building. A community may remain at the Affiliate level indefinitely, but should be taking steps to advance upward in the tier system with the ultimate goal of achieving Certified Main Street Community status. Affiliate Communities do not require paid staff, but must have a volunteer base and widespread local support, including the city and Chamber of Commerce or a similar organization. Affiliates receive training and support from the Montana Main Street Program staff, are able to apply for annual grant funding with a local match of 1:5 ($1 of local match for every $5 committed by the state), and are invited to attend our regional workshops and conferences at a reduced cost (depending on program budget). Affiliate communities are required to submit quarterly reports to the Montana Main Street Coordinator.

Designated Community

The Designated Community tier requires demonstrated and practiced application of the Main Street Approach™, an organizational structure with at least one paid staff member to oversee the local Main Street program, and established Board of Directors and Main Street committee/s, a solid volunteer base, and a well-developed and organized community revitalization effort. A community may remain at the Designated Community level indefinitely, but should actively move toward the realization of Certified Main Street Community status. Designated Communities receive priority service and training from the Montana Main Street Program staff, are able to apply for annual grant funding with no required local match, receive free registration for one representative at our regional workshops and conferences, and receive free membership in the national Main Street Center network. Designated Main Street organizations can exist as an independent non-profit or be incorporated into other already existing organizations, such as a chamber of commerce or downtown association. Community representatives may also serve as mentors in the Montana Main Street Mentorship Program. Designated Communities are required to submit quarterly reports to the Montana Main Street Coordinator.

Certified Main Street Community

The Certified Main Street Community tier fully demonstrates a perfected Main Street Approach™ and boasts nationally recognized success with downtown revitalization organization and efforts. Certified Main Street communities are nationally recognized by the Main Street Center and serve as examples of best practices to Montana Affiliate and Designated communities. This tier requires the community to meet all the requirements of a Designated Community and to be reviewed annually to assure that the community meets the 10 Standards of Performance set by the national Main Street Center. While every designated Main Street program can work toward accreditation, not every program receives it. Certified Main Street Communities receive priority service and training from the Montana Main Street Program staff, are able to apply for annual grant funding with no required local match, receive free registration for one representative at our regional workshops and conferences, receive one free registration for the National Main Street Conference, and receive free membership in the national Main Street Center network. Community representatives may also serve as mentors in the Montana Main Street Mentorship Program. Certified Main Street Communities are required to submit quarterly reports to the Montana Main Street Coordinator.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S PARK AVENUE | PO BOX 200523 | HELENA, MT 59620-0523 | P: (406) 841-2770 | F: (406) 841-2771 | TDD: (406) 841-2702