Main Street Amherst is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. Our mission is to promote and maintain an historic and economically vital downtown that is attractive and accessible to people of all ages. Since 1980, the National Main Street Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have been working with communities across the nation to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. The Main Street program is designed to improve all aspects of the downtown or central business district, producing both tangible and intangible benefits. the Main Street approach has rekindled entrepreneurship, downtown cooperation and civic concern. It has earned national recognition as a practical strategy appropriately scaled to a community's local resources and conditions. And because it is a locally driven program, all initiative stems from local issues and concerns. In 1998, a small group of Amherst citizens and business owners founded a group called The Amherst Downtown Business Association. The purpose of this group was two-fold: the City of Amherst wanted to apply for a Community Development Block Grant and needed a strong business group in place to obtain the grant. And at the same time, there were eleven empty storefronts in downtown Amherst. There was a growing concern that the downtown shopping area would be lost forever to strip malls and shopping malls if some action was not taken to restore economic security to the area. The City of Amherst was awarded the Community Development Block Grant and The Amherst Downtown Business Association evolved into The Amherst Downtown and Betterment Association, thus encompassing the entire community. Storefronts filled to capacity and business owners used the grant to restore facades and implement code improvements. The City used the grant funds to build a new parking lot and install historic streetlights and street signs in the downtown historic preservation district. A strong bond formed between the city government and the Amherst Downtown and Betterment Association. In December 2002, the Amherst Downtown and Betterment Association was granted official Main Street status by Downtown Ohio Inc. The name Main Street Amherst came into place after the official state-wide Main Street Designation. In October 2003, the old post office building was officially renamed and dedicated the Main Street Community Center.