In 2002 the District of Columbia (DC) through the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) launched a Main Street initiative under the National Trust for Historic Preservation. DC Main Streets is a comprehensive program that promotes the revitalization of traditional business districts in the District of Columbia. It serves as the citywide coordinating program that provides services and funding for the Main Streets found in DC. DC Main Streets mission is to support the traditional retail corridors in the District.
Destination Congress Heights Main Street (DCHMS) formerly the Congress Heights Main Street was chartered by the National Trust for Historic Preservations Main Street program in January of 2016. Our Main Street program operates under the Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation (CHCTDC) as a result of the DC Main Street initiative which was established through the National Trust for Historic Preservations. CHCTDC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization led by a combination of community development professionals and local volunteers. Although established under CHCTDC, DCHMS has separate Board of Directors who governs the operations of the program. The full Board meets quarterly to review the business of the organization. The committees also meet regularly to discuss the progress of their projects. The day-to-day activities of DCHMS are carried out through its committees, made up of active volunteers from all walks of life. The DCHMS board and committee activities are supported by the Executive Director, who keeps all the parts moving forward.
Our Main Street program is based on the National Trust for Historic Preservations nationally proven model, The Main Street Four Point Approach, which includes emphasis in the areas of: ORGANIZATION of commercial revitalization efforts, PROMOTION of neighborhood businesses and business districts, DESIGN and ECONOMIC VITALITY. The approach also includes an underlying historic preservation ethic which provides local organizations with a mechanism to manage their neighborhood commercial districts and a structure to implement commercial revitalization activities that will achieve the stakeholder’s goals for the commercial district.
Financial support for Destination Congress Heights Main Street primarily comes in the form of grants, contributions, donations, and sponsorships. Since initiation of DCHMS as a Nationally recognized program, the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development agency has been the major source of funding annually. Through DSLBD, DCHMS is able to help guide the revitalization of the Congress Heights community by retaining and recruiting new businesses, improving commercial properties and streetscapes, and attracting consumers.