Los Alamos MainStreet has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach™.
“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”
In 2019 alone, $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated, 6,466 net new businesses were opened, 32,316 net new were jobs created, and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.
Los Alamos MainStreet’s performance is evaluated by New Mexico MainStreet, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet ten rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
Los Alamos MainStreet strives to work with the downtown businesses to identify unique ways to promote local goods and services, highlight the local science and history culture, and bring more people downtown more of the time. It does this in part by hosting four signature events each year in the district, in partnership with Los Alamos County: Los Alamos ScienceFest in July, the Fair & Rodeo Parade in August, Halloweekend and Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet in October and the WinterFest Holiday Lights Parade in December. It also hosts the weekly Los Alamos Farmers’ Markets on Thursdays from May-October, which was recently expanded to include Saturday Markets June-September.
The MainStreet program works collaboratively with the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce on other events such as Small Business Saturday, for which it received a 2019 Neighborhood Champion Innovation Contest award from Main Street America and American Express for its Blue Bucks Raffle program and Holiday Gift Guide. In 2018, Los Alamos MainStreet brought New Mexico Restaurant Week to the County for the first time, which was successfully hosted again in 2019 by several local dining establishments. To further encourage organizations to host their events downtown, Los Alamos MainStreet also offers Small Projects grants.
During these challenging times, Los Alamos MainStreet has worked closely with the Chamber to provide valuable information to the local business community and public at large, from business updates to resources for owners and operators. Additionally, the program helped coordinate complimentary personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies that were distributed to local businesses.
In late 2018, White Rock became part of the state’s first County-wide MainStreet program. Work is currently underway to pursue a possible Metropolitan Revitalization Area (MRA) zone in White Rock, which would help stimulate economic development and community building. The designation of an MRA allows for the contribution of public resources to private redevelopment projects, thereby helping catalyze reinvestment in the area. In addition, it gives municipalities the ability to offer tax incentives and tools to help attract and grow commercial activity in the area, leading to long-term redevelopment and a stronger local business market.
This MRA planning process will ideally complement the County’s concurrent downtown master planning process, currently in the early stages for both White Rock and Los Alamos after a consultant was selected via open RFP. All planning initiatives will provide several opportunities for public input. MRA discussions have already been taking place with many White Rock businesses and property owners.
For more information about Los Alamos MainStreet, visit www.LosAlamosMainStreet. Its upcoming event, Los Alamos ScienceFest 20/20: Eyes On the Future, is going virtual this year and runs July 7-12. More information about joining the activities can be found at www.LosAlamosScienceFest.com.
About Los Alamos MainStreet:
Los Alamos MainStreet is a program of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation, a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, Discover Los Alamos, Los Alamos Small Business Center, projectY cowork Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Research Park.
About Main Street America:
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.