The word “downtown” often evokes images of window shopping, outdoor cafes, and business hustle and bustle. In reality, with the rise of suburban convenience, many of the nation’s—and Idaho’s—downtown areas could benefit from a bit more hustle and a lot more bustle.

Idaho residents are leading the charge to breathe new life into our downtowns and neighborhood business districts by following the principles of the Main Street program. Main Street is a national movement that guides communities as they work to revitalize their downtowns, sparking their local economies while they restore culturally and historically significant resources in these areas.

Main Street programs can be implemented in towns and cities of any size. Commercial districts taking part in the Main Street program across the nation have generated more than $53 billion in new investment, with a net gain of more than 448,000 new jobs and 104,961 new businesses. More than 200,000 buildings have been restored and renovated.

Learn more about the national Main Street program.

Idaho’s Main Street Program

Idaho has adopted a statewide Main Street program, which means that we serve as the bridge between your community and the national program. We can help pool resources statewide and provide Main Street designation and accreditation.

Idaho Commerce also provides assistance to rural communities that don’t have the resources to implement a program on their own, and we track program successes so that we can celebrate our communities’ achievements.

Think your downtown could benefit from the Main Street program? Contact Jerry Miller at or (208) 334-2470 about bringing it to your community.