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Impact of Main Street in Washington State report released

SEATTLE — The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP) is pleased to release the “Impact of Main Street in Washington State”. This report is the result of a study analyzing the economic, fiscal, and community impacts of the Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP), which the Trust manages under contract with DAHP.

The study used reinvestment statistics gathered by WSMSP’s designated Main Street Communities, combined with analytics software and detailed survey results to quantify the state program’s impact from 2011-2019. The study was conducted by Jon Stover & Associates, a firm based in Washington, D.C.

Key findings include:

  • Economic Impact: Since 2011, Main Street Communities across the state helped generate $550.3 million in sales for businesses in Main Street districts, supporting 6,405 jobs at those businesses. When accounting for business-to-business transactions and employee spending, the economic impact of Main Streets includes 8,537 jobs, $397.7 million in salaries, and $821.7 million in sales.
  • Fiscal Impact: The Washington State Main Street Program has a positive return on investment for the State of Washington. For every dollar the state has allocated to the program, the economic activity generated in Main Street communities has generated $1.58 back to the state in tax revenues. Between 2011 and 2019, Washington State has allocated $18.3 million (2019 dollars) to the program and has received $28.9 million (2019 dollars) in tax revenues from enhanced Main Street business activity.
  • Community Impact: Through a focus on placemaking, community engagement, safety, equity, and sustainability, Main Streets take the lead in creating places wherein people can thrive. Quality-of-life programming and partnerships foster “social capital” that generates stronger community ties, strengthens networks of connection, and creates lasting social infrastructure in the commercial districts and downtowns across the state.

“The impact study demonstrates the effectiveness of the Main Street program that supports small businesses working collectively to achieve economic vitality and viability,” stated Dr. Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of DAHP. “The data clearly shows a direct economic impact of over half a billion dollars into local economies over the past decade that would not have been possible without the presence of Main Street.”

The WSMSP operates a network of 65 towns across the state, 34 of which are represented in the study’s data. The study finds that WSMSP also represents 6,850 businesses, 65,260 employees, and $9.7 billion in revenue; and that one in four Washington residents lives within five miles of a Main Street Community.

For more information and to read the full report please visit:

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