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During the pandemic, Arizona Downtown Alliance pivots to continue support to rural downtowns

The Arizona Downtown Alliance, a program of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, is a collaboration of statewide partners that work together to spur revitalization, inspire economic development, and encourage new business growth in cities and towns all across Arizona. Partnering with local, state, and national stakeholders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the Alliance acts as a clearinghouse for information, resources, education, and funding opportunities for citizens working to build stronger, healthier downtowns and local business districts.

The pandemic has forced communities and the organizations that support their downtown and central business districts to pivot and explore new or different approaches to implement their programs. This has been also true for the Arizona Downtown Alliance. Typically, we travel to communities to provide support and services but haven’t been able to physically do that since March 2020. However, we have been working hard at sharing information and resources and providing support via Zoom conference meetings and one-on-one phone calls. Below are the accomplishments we implemented since the pandemic began.

National Advocacy

  • Became a member of Main Street America, which is a program of the National Main Street Center. Our membership provides access to best practices across the nation for downtown revitalization as well as pivoting during the pandemic, grant opportunities, COVID-19 resources, and other tools including “The Point” which is a new online networking platform for members.

  • Shared key information across our Arizona network through on our website, Facebook Page, and email blasts. We used access to “The Point” to:

    • Access user-generated document libraries

    • Network via a comprehensive user directory

    • Share resources and post questions online

    • Receive email digests of community activity to participate directly from the inbox

  • Actively supported Main Street America’s “Main Street Movement” efforts to support Congress and the Biden Administration toward passage of two infrastructure packages. We regularly shared the information and progress of the movement as well as access to Main Street America’s Advocacy Toolkit with our network.

  • Signed letters of support for the Community Revitalization Fund and improvements to the Historic Tax Credit.

  • Attended the National Main Street virtual conference and offered a $75 scholarship to Arizona Main Street Programs to attend the conference.

State Advocacy

  • Signed a letter of support for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund and shared with our network the announcement of the passing of the Fund, the opening of the Fund's grant portal, and supporting communities interested in applying

  • Maintained strong partnerships:

    • Arizona Commission of the Arts

    • Arizona Heritage Alliance

    • Arizona Humanities

    • Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities

    • Arizona Preservation Foundation

    • Arizona State Historic Preservation Office

    • Arizona State Parks & Trails

    • League of Arizona Cities and Towns

    • Local First Arizona

    • Urban Land Institute (Arizona Chapter)


  • Maintain the Alliance’s website

  • Promote the Alliance’s robust Facebook page (growing to 625followers)

  • Regularly utilize email list to distribute "real time" communiques about funding opportunities, educational workshops, and other topics.

  • Write letters of support for Vail Preservation Society’s grant request to the National Parks Service grant and State Parks Heritage Fund grant.

Phone & Virtual Technical Support

  • Buckeye Main Street Coalition

  • Casa Grande Main Street

  • City of El Mirage

  • City of Eloy

  • Kingman Main Street

  • Nogales Community Development Corporation

  • RAIL Mesa

  • Safford Downtown Association (SDA)/City of Safford

  • Show Low Main Street

  • Town of Clarkdale

  • Vail Preservation Society/Vail Connects


For more information about the Arizona Downtown Alliance, send an email.

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